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6 JVo :Ll..^:L. Class ^ 














V O L/U ME X L I X. 




JANUARY, 1877. 


By L. Wolff. 
[Read at the Pharmaceutical Meeting, December 19.) 

Petroleum benzin has been frequently proposed and variously exper- 
imented with by different operators, with the view of substituting the 
much higher priced ether in preparing oleoresins, and has been repeat- 
edly found to not answer the purpose intended for it. ("A. J. Ph.," 
1872, page 208). Although its valuable solvent powers for fatty mat- 
ter, wax and essential oils cannot be disputed, it fails to extract the 
resins and the active ingredients, which are of the utmost importance 
in oleoresins. Ginger treated with benzin yields an oil containing all 
the odoriferous properties thereof, but extracting none of the pungent- 
tasting resin for the remedial properties of which it is justly celebrated, 
and which subsequent to the benzin process is readily dissolved from it 
by ether or alcohol. Buchu under a like treatment, as reported by 
another contributor of this journal on this subject, gives an oily sub- 
stance devoid of the diuretic properties of the leaves, though possess- 
ing their specific odor. Cubebs, though completely exhausted by it of 
its fixed and essential oils, fails to yield its cubebic acid to it, black 
pepper its piperin, and wormseed its resin and santonin ; but all of the 
mentioned substances, and many more which have been subjected to 
the same process, are readily deprived of their fixed and essential oils, 
leaving them inodorous, seemingly dry and incoherent, powders, that 
are, if treated with alcohol, ether or chloroform, readily deprived of 
their resins, thus affording a method for obtaining them separate from 
wax, fixed and essential oils. 

Its extraordinary solvency for essential oils destines benzin for 
an important place in pharmacy, and oils derived by its aid from cin- 
namon, cloves and other drugs are, if their odor is any indication of 


Petroleum Benzin in Pharmacy, 

f Am. Jour. Pharfn. 
I Jan., 1877. 

their value, if not superior, certainly not inferior to the distilled oils of 
these articles. 

The oils obtained by exhaustion with benzin and it subsequent evap- 
oration are mixed with wax and fixed oils to some extent, which can 
easily be separated therefrom by dissolving in alcohol, in which the 
latter are insoluble, filtration of this solution, and either expulsion of 
the alcohol by evaporation at the moderate heat of a water-bath or T 
much safer and better, by mixing the filtered alcoholic solution with 
several times its bulk of water, when the essential oil will arise to the 
surface or subside beneath it, as its specific gravity may be. 

The oils by this cold process have a beautiful aroma, superior to 
many of the distilled ones, and the easy manner of obtaining them 
may, without doubt, prove a valuable method for the pharmacist who 
cannot always procure in the market the oils he wants, and has no 
facilities for distilling them, besides giving him fair means to arrive at 
a quantitative estimate of the essential oil contained in an article under 

The essential oil of parsley seed cannot thus be separately prepared 
by the aid of benzin, as it contains another peculiar oily substance, 
well known by the name of " apiol," which is soluble both in it and- 
also alcohol. 

A great deal of the apiol in the market, both in bulk and in cap- 
sules, is nothing more than an oleoresin of parsley seed, which can 
lay no claim whatever to its name, being of green color, insoluble, to 
a large extent, in alcohol, and congealing at ordinary winter tempera- 
ture, all of which properties " true apiol " does not possess. Apiol 
has come into extensive use of late years, secured high praise as an 
emmenagogue, and is also claimed by its discoverers to be an antiperi- 
odic but little, if any, inferior to quinia ; but its high price, conse- 
quent to the expensive process as proposed by Messrs. Joret & Ho- 
molle, perhaps more than anything else, prevents its general introduc- 

Powdered parsley seed, exhausted with benzin, and the liquid spon- 
taneously evaporated, yields a mixture containing principally fixed oil, 
wax and apiol ; the latter, alone, being soluble in alcohol, can readily 
be recovered therefrom hy repeated washings in stronger alcohol. The 
washings evaporated over the water-bath with a gentle heat, leave as 
residue " True Apiol," corresponding in every respect with the article 

Am jlnri8 > 7 h 7 arm '} Petroleum Benzin in Pharmacy. 3 

sold under the name of " Joret & Homolle's," having the advantage 
of its low price making it accessible to persons of limited means, as 
well as to the more favored by fortune, especially if it is not dispensed 
in capsules, for which there is no occasion, since it may be given dis- 
solved in essence of peppermint, or in emulsion, disguised by the oil of 
the same name. Samples of "Apiol " prepared in this manner, have 
been tried by several prominent physicians, in their practice, and were 
pronounced to be equally as efficient as the imported French article. 

Quite frequently the fixed oils much encumber the result of phar- 
maceutical operations, as is prominently the case in preparing the "Al- 
coholic Extract of Nux Vomica," which has often been noticed and 
given attention to by many writers. (See "A. J. Ph.," 1874, page 
405 ; also, Prof. Procter on the same.) Nux vomica, if exhausted 
with benzin, yields a large percentage of a clear fixed oil, congealing 
at ordinary winter temperature, and the powder, if subsequently treated 
in the usual manner with stronger alcohol, gives an extract which offers 
no trouble by proper evaporation in reducing it to the dry state. The 
oil derived from the benzin exhaust, to make sure of not losing any 
strychnia or brucia that may be contained therein, should be repeatedly 
shaken with dilute alcohol until the washings fail to betray to the pal- 
ate the specific bitter taste of their alkaloids ; then the washings must 
be mixed with the extract in course of evaporation, and the whole 
reduced to proper consistency. By the ordinary way, the separation 
of the oil from the extract is at best a tedious matter, causing the loss 
of extract, and is never completely performed, thus preventing evapo- 
ration to dryness, which by the benzin process is readily effected. 

Another article, which the pharmacist has frequently to purchase at 
an exorbitant price, is " Purified Oleic Acid," which has been much 
used of late in making the oleates now in use, and can be easily and 
at small expense prepared with benzin as solvent, in the following way : 

Oil of sweet almonds, saponified with caustic potash and the soap 
decomposed with tartaric acid, is washed with hot water to separate 
the precipitated bitartrate of potassium from the mixture of oleic and 
palmitic acids. These are combined with litharge forming the oleo- 
margarate of lead, from which the benzin dissolves the oleate of lead, 
leaving as residue the undissolved palmitate thereof. From the benzin 
solution the lead is precipitated by dilute hydrochloric acid, in form o f 
chloride of lead, and on evaporation of the benzin, " Oleic Acid " 


Practical Notes. 

J Am Jour. Pharm. 
( Jan., 1877. 

will remain sufficiently pure for pharmaceutical purposes, giving clear 
and permanent solutions with the red and yellow mercurial oxides, as 
high as thirty per cent, if necessary. 

As crude commercial oleic acid can be bought at very low figures, 
it may be purified by combining it with litharge, deriving from it the 
oleate of lead, from which again, by the aid of benzin, the purified 
oleate can be separated, and as before stated, purified oleic acid pre- 
pared at but a small expense. 

To gain the same end, the simplest way perhaps is to utilize the 
ready-made oleo-palmitate of lead, the officinal leadplaster, dissolve 
it in benzin and extract from it the oleic acid by precipitating the lead 
by aid of hydrochloric acid. 

Oleic acid thus prepared has been used for some time, and found to 
answer better for the preparation of the oleates than the article sold 
by some of the manufacturing chemists. 

The above results by no means limit the utility of petroleum benzin 
as a solvent and important pharmaceutical factor, but they will show 
that this refuse article, of comparative little commercial value, which 
has been applied to but little more than the removal of oil, grease or 
paint stains, may be turned to good account by its very deficiency to 
act like ether or similar substances as a general solvent for both fats 
and resins. 

Philadelphia, Dec. 1st, 1876. 


(Extracted from theses presented to the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy in 1876.) 

Aquae Medicatae. — Wm. Wesley Trout has examined the various 
methods proposed for the preparation of medicated waters, and gives 
the preference to those prepared by distillation. When this process 
is not practicable, the " hot water process " is considered the best, as 
yielding a pure and strong water. Very acceptable waters may be 
obtained by the use of the elaeosacchara of the European pharmaco- 
poeias, which, for this purpose, the author proposes to prepare by using 
15 ^minims of the oil to three drachms of sugar, triturating them 
together and then adding one pint of distilled water gradually, with 
constant trituration. Using paper pulp for dividing the valatile oils, 
the author obtained the weakest waters [probably because too much 

Am. Jour. Pharm. ) 
Jan., 1877. j 

Practical Notes. 


paper pulp was used. — Editor]. Purified animal charcoal, used with 
the oil, also yields good waters. 

Walter Theron Baker has principally operated with cinnamon and 
camphor water, and prefers, particularly for the latter, well-burned 
granulated wood charcoal ; the kind used having been obtained from 
Jersey pine, giss of the charcoal to 3i camphor was found to be 

Preservation of Syrups. — Allen Spengler has found that a little 
salicylic acid [how much ?] added to syrupus scillae comp. would pre- 
serve it for months, while portions of the same syrup, kept under the 
same conditions, except that no salicylic acid had been added, were 
completely spoiled. 

Syrup of Ipecacuanha. — In preparing this syrup Wm. H. Righter, 
Jr., aims first at obtaining a fluid extract which will mix with syrup 
without producing a precipitate, which is effected by diluting the 
officinal fluid extract with water, filtering and evaporating to the proper 
measure. By adding one fluidounce of this purified fluid extract to 
three fluidounces of syrup of tolu and then twelve fluidounces of 
simple syrup, an efficient syrup of ipecac is obtained, which has a 
pleasant flavor and is not prone to fermentation. 

Syrup of Wild Cherry Bark, possessing a deep brown-red color 
and a strong odor of hydrocyanic acid, is obtained, according to John 
Ritter, by first moistening the five troyounces of powdered wild cherry 
bark with a mixture of two fluidounces of glycerin and one-half a fluid- 
ounce of distilled water, allowing it to stand in a closed vessel for 
24 hours and then proceeding according to the directions of the " Phar- 

Variation in Fluid Extracts. — Clayton K. Smith has made some 
comparative experiments in relation to fluid extracts, by evaporating 
four ounces with a gentle heat to a pilular consistence, and weighing 
this residue. Whether, and in what manner the amount of glycerin 
or sugar was determined, is not stated. The results cannot be claimed 
as possessing any analytical value, but they illustrate very forcibly the 
variation of commercial fluid extracts. Nos. 1, 2 and 3 in the follow- 
ing table were from three manufacturers in New York ; Nos. 4, 5 
and 6, from three Philadelphia houses. The extracts yielded by four 
[fluid ?] ounces weighed as follows : 


Practical Notes, 

J Am. Jour. Pharm, 
t Jan., 1877. 

I 2 



5 6 



, 360 grs. 800 grs. 

1070 grs. 

720 ?rs. 

1440 grs. 850 grs. 



840 " IOIO " 

720 " 

54o " 

1380 " 825 " 



480 « 1235 " 

1210 " 

960 " 

1500 " 800 " 




1000 " 1068 " 

1300 " 

800 " 

1680 " 1080 " 



480 " 420 " 

550 « 

480 " 

780 " 780 " 

Solubility of Drugs. — Philip J. Laver has determined the amount 
of moisture in the following air-dried powdered drugs by keeping 
them in an air-bath at a temperature of no°F. until they ceased to 
lose weight ; those containing volatile oil were dried over lime in an 
air-tight box. The amount of soluble matter was ascertained by 
percolating 960 grains of the air-dry drugs with the menstrua directed 
by the " U. S. Pharmacopoeia," using sufficient quantities for preparing 
the^officinal tinctures ; the residues were afterwards dried as before, 
and the difference in weight, after deducting the previously ascertained 
amount of moisture, was regarded as the weight of the soluble matter 
contained in the tincture. In this manner the following figures were 
obtained : 

960 grs. of airdry Ginger, Valerian, Lobelia, Calumba, Sanguinaria, Cinchona, Arnica, Digitalis, Krameria, 

Lost in drying, 


100 74 






60 grs, 

Yielded solu- > 

139 146 

44o " 

ble matter, j 







Or pr. fluid oz. 


8 H 9* 

9 1% 

x 3 A 

14 A 




Tinctura Cinchonse Comp. — Wm. D. Robinson has examined a 
number of specimens of this tincture, which had been obtained from 
various sources. After some preliminary experiments, Winkler's pro- 
cess was decided upon, and 5 fluidounces and 100 minims of the 
tincture, representing 250 grains of red cinchona, were treated with 
the same weight, each of slaked lime and animal charcoal, the sedi- 
ment repeatedly treated with cold alcohol, and the mixed alcoholic 
liquids evaporated. Regarding the residue as nearly pure alkaloids, 
the barks used in preparing the tinctures were found to contain 
respectively the following percentages thereof : '287, *8i, '871, 1*03, 
1-09, 1-13, x-20, 1-27, 1-38, 1-62, 171, 178, 2*05, 2-13, 3-09, 3-11 
and 4*46, showing a great variation in the quality of the barks 

Am. Jour. Pharm. \ 
Jan., 1877. I 

Aqua Medicate. 



By George W. Kennedy, Ph.G. 

(Read at the Monthly Meeting of the Alumni Association of the Philadelphia College 

of Pharmacy ', Dec. jth.) 

The process of medicated waters of the Pharmacopoeia when pre- 
pared in strict accordance with the directions, is not only pharmaceu- 
tically objectionable, but also therapeutically and chemically. I 
propose to take up cinnamon water, discussing it briefly, and pointing 
out the objections. 

1st. When freshly prepared, it is rather pleasing in appearance to 
the eye, but in a short time it changes, becoming to a certain extent 
turbid ; precipitation soon takes place, and an appreciable amount of 
deposit is formed at the bottom as well as on the sides of the bottle in 
which it is kept, thus rendering it unsightly and displeasing to a phar- 
macist who takes pride in his preparations. 

2d. The precipitation is not of so much importance therapeutically, 
since the water is scarcely ever given for its medicinal virtues, although 
it certainly possesses some when properly prepared, owing to its pleasant 
aromatic and carminative properties, its principal employments as an 
adjuvant to other medicines, the taste of which it masks and disguises 

3d. The chemical objection to the ordinary process with carbonate 
of magnesium, is that the deposit spoken of above consists of cinna- 
mate and carbonate of magnesium. The cinnamic acid being the 
result of oxidation of the oil which consists principally of cinnamic 
aldehyd (C 9 H s O) and variable proportions of hydrocarbon, the oil 
being of such a composition that it readily absorbs oxygen from the 
atmosphere, thereby becoming contaminated with resin and cinnamic 

The principal objection to medicated waters, prepared with magnesia, 
when prescribed with the salts of the alkaloids, is that precipation of 
the bases takes place, thus making it very dangerous to the patient who 
may get an overdose at any time. 

Mr. Thomas H. Powers as early as 1833 ("Am. Jour. Pharm.") 
called attention to the solubility of magnesia, and recommended the addi- 
tion of a small quantity of acid to prevent precipitation. Since then over 
forty-three years have passed away, and this very important matter has 
been t© a very great extent overlooked, at least by the framers of the 

8 Acidum Phosphoricum Bilutum. { Am j J a ° n u , r - l8 P 7 h 7 arm ' 

" Pharmacopoeia." It gives me much pleasure to say that in looking over 
our pharmaceutical literature, quite a number of apothecaries will be 
observed to have been busily engaged in providing a substitute for the 
magnesia to remedy this defect. Various recommendations have been 
made from time to time as improvements, the majority of which are 
decisively good suggestions of the substances recommended to take the 
place of magnesia. I would enumerate the following : Animal char- 
coal, silica, pumice stone, glass, kaolin, chalk and paper pulp ; then it 
has been proposed by several writers to dissolve the oils in boiling; 
water, which also seems to answer the purpose admirably and furnish 
satisfactory products, provided the oils are fresh and not in a oxidized 

My object here is to exhibit a vial of cinnamon water, in compli- 
ance with a request at our last meeting, as prepared from distillation 
with the oil, not that I advocate that process altogether, but simply to< 
show what can be done by distillation. This water, upon examination,, 
will be found to be strongly impregnated with the odor, and I believe 
by diluting with an equal part of distilled water, an article far superior 
in odor to that made by the ordinary process will be obtained. It is 
almost colorless, whilst that made with magnesia is of a straw-yellow 
color. When medicated waters are prepared from the drug, a finer 
preparation is obtained than when made from the oil ; there is a deli- 
cate fragrance and flavor about the drug, which is not found in the oils, 
even in the freshest possible condition in which they can be obtained. 
Essential oils generally do not keep long ; they soon oxidize, and a 
foreign substance is formed, which to a certain degree unfits them for 
medicated waters, although if great care is taken of them they will 
answer the purpose very well, and will please the most particular apoth- 
ecary. In concluding my remarks, I would say, that the " Pharmaco- 
poeia " committee should be reminded of the necessary and absolute 
importance of making a change in the preparations of medicated waters, 
which should be made only by distillation from the drug. 
Pot s<ville, Pa. 


By Rich. V. Mattison, Ph.G. 
[Read at the Pharmaceutical Meeting, December igtb.) 
To the average reader it seems hardly possible that anything new 
can be said on this subject, so thoroughly has it been discussed n. 

^'jm*'^™'} Acidum Phosphortcum Dilutum. 9 

this discussion commended upon by recent writers. The " Pharma- 
copoeia " directs either of two processes, directing preferably the oxida- 
tion of phosphorus by nitric acid, and the subsequent dilution to the 
proper specific gravity. The objection to this process, we believe, 
comes from only one source, viz. : the retail druggist to whom it is 
both dangerous and insufferably tedious, requiring constant watchful- 
ness regarding temperature, " eternal vigilance " being the only price 
of safety, beside being a source of constant expense through the 
breakage of funnels, capsules and the other paraphernalia of the phos- 
phoric acid apparatus usually found at the command of the pharmacist 
It is, however, the process usually followed by manufacturers, because 
of its most striking allurement, viz. : cheapness ; and for their benefit 
we will describe a piece of apparatus employed by ourselves for the 
past two years in the manufacture of this preparation. 

We place in the yard attached to the laboratory a tub of twenty- 
five gallons capacity, into which we place some smooth bricks, and 
upon these we place a graphite crucible of say ten gallons capacity, 
such as are used in the steel works for melting and refining of cast 
steel, and upon the top of this we insert a funnel and carefully lute 
the edges with flaxseed meal or clay — having previously placed in the 
crucible the quantity of phosphorus we wish to convert into phosphoric 
acid. Into the spout we place a glass tube reaching to the bottom of 
the crucible, and at the apex insert a small funnel ; the apparatus is 
now complete with the exception of the method of applying heat. 

On the upper floors of the laboratory are the steam-pans from which 
the condensed steam passes through the drip-cock either to the boiler 
tank or to the ground below. Now we take a small steam-pipe and 
attach one extremity to the drip cock and allow the other to terminate 
into the tub in which stands the acid apparatus. We start the process 
by putting the phosphorus into the crucible, luting the funnel as before 
described, and through the tube in the spout, adding the quantity of 
nitric acid, slightly diluted, that may be requisite. We then allow the 
condensed steam to fill the tub, and pay no more attention to it excepting 
to add water or nitric acid as occasion may require. Through the 
daily use of the steam-pans, stills, etc., there is abundance of condensed 
and live steam passing into the tub, the water in which is thereby kept 
constantly hot, without requiring any attention, and the process may 
go on for weeks without the slightest danger or annoyance to the 

20 Acidum Phosphoricum Dilutum. { iLm '^\^ m ' 

motive power which is furnished at a minimum of expense by the 
waste product (condensed steam) which would be utilized for no other 

A note here regarding the practical working of the first process by 
the pharmacist. The case in point is this : We had occasion some 
time ago to drop into the store of a gentleman well known for his 
pharmaceutical attainments, and who makes it an item of especial pride 
that " he prepares his dilute phosphoric acid from phosphorus direct." 
Well, at the time of our call we beheld the " youngest apprentice," 
we judged from the exceedingly crude methods of manipulation he 
practised, at work on the officinal process in question. To say " he 
took no note of time " is inapplicable, but that " he took no note of 
temperature " certainly is, for his chief design seemed to be to burn the 
largest amount of phosphorus in the shortest possible time — the phos- 
phorus being mostly on [fire, and dense clouds of phosphoric anhydrid 
issuing from the mouth of the funnel escaped up the chimney besides 
clouding the atmosphere of the store. Upon our modestly offering the 
suggestion that the proper place for the anhydrid was in the capsule 
instead of the atmosphere, the proprietor rather curtly informed us that 
iC Oh, he (the youngest apprentice before referred to) knows all about 
it ; he's made it before." 

These are the facts ; the commentary is that if an educated pharma- 
cist is unable to prepare phosphoric acid by this process without losing 
50 per cent, of the anhydrid, the acid thereby being proportionately 
reduced in strength, then the process is not a proper one to be left in 
the hands of druggists generally for the manufacture of this preparation. 

The second process of the " Pharmacopoeia " is unsuitable, and 
should not, on any account, be followed, because of the fact that all 
the metaphosphoric acid of the market is contaminated with quan- 
tities varying from 15 to 35, or more, per cent, of sodic phosphate, 
which is added to the pure metaphosphoric acid by the German manu- 
facturers for the purpose of causing it to concrete into those beauti- 
fully transparent, solid masses, in which shape it is more easily 
handled commercially. 

The objections to this process then are very grave ones, viz. : that 
the metaphosphoric acid is largely contaminated with sodic orthophos- 
phate which, upon heating, is converted into pyrophosphate, and the 
resulting acid formed by following the " Pharmacopoeia " process is not 

Am jLn ur i8 7 ^ arni '} Acidum Phosphoeicum Dilutum. n 

only deficient in strength, which varies accordingly with the amount of 
sodic salt contained therein, but the presence of the pyrophosphate 
precipitates the corresponding ferric salt when the acid is added to 
solutions containing iron. 

A third process, which is known as " Markoe's process," consists 
in acting upon phosphorus with bromine in the presence of water. 
With care the process is esteemed a safe one, but the fact remains that 
at least one experienced experimenter has had proof positive of the 
contrary, and we would not recommend the process as one to be left 
in the hands of the inexperienced, though that it does furnish excellent 
results at a limited cost is undeniable. 

The fourth process is the one we propose for the next u Pharmaco- 
poeia." It is not designed for the manufacturer, but for the pharmacist. 
Its chief feature is simplicity, combined with ease and rapidity of exe- 
cution. Its simplicity depends upon the ease with which amorphous 
phosphorus is converted into orthophosphoric acid by the action of 
nitric acid, and we would propose the following modification of the 
first officinal process : 

Take of Phosphorus (amorphous), . 370 grains; 

Nitric acid, . . 5 troyounces or q. s. ; 
Water, sufficient quantity. 

Add the nitric acid to eight fluidounces of water in a porcelain cap- 
sule, arid to this add the amorphous phosphorus ; raise the temperature 
of the mixture to boiling, and evaporate until the solution has lost the 
odor of nitric acid. (It would be almost superfluous to caution the 
operator at this period regarding the passage of ortho- to pyrophosphoric 
acid by increased temperature.) When perfectly free from nitric acid 
it should be diluted to the measure of twenty fluidounces, or to the 
requisite specific gravity, the arsenic and other impurities, if present, 
having been previously removed. 

Of a sample of acid prepared by this process one hundred grains 
were neutralized by twenty-four and six-tenths grains of perfectly dry 
crystals of acid potassium carbonate ; solution of ammonic nitrate gave 
a yellow precipitate \ it did not coagulate albumen or precipitate with 
tincture of the ferric chloride when mixed in various proportions. 

The operation is finished in fifty minutes, and if judicious note of 
temperature is taken the finished product is free from pyro- or meta- 
acids, perfectly free from danger either to person or property, no gauze 

1 2 Oil of Cinnamon Leaves. { Am j&%^ Mm " 

spectacles or additional insurance, a process that the youngest appren- 
tice cannot blunder over ; easy, efficient and economical, what more 
could be desired ? 

Philadelphia, December ist, 1876. 


By N. A. Kuhn. 

{Read at the Monthly Meeting of the Alumni Association, P. C. P., Dec. 7th, 1876). 

This oil has a sharp, biting taste, with an odor reminding at first 
very faintly of nutmegs, afterwards strongly of cloves, but if heated 
with KHO that of cinnamon is predominant. The color is near 
that of true oil of cinnamon, and the specific gravity is about the same, 
it being a little heavier than water, sinking when put in that liquid. 

It does not fulminate with iodine, does not give any color with nitro- 
prusside of copper, nor with hydrochloric acid ; with nitric acid a 
brown color similar to an iodine stain ; with sulphuric acid a violet 
purple, which is turned brown by nitric acid, as the oil treated with 
the latter alone is. 

A portion was treated in a test tube with a small portion of sulphuric 
acid and potassium bichromate. In the vapors from this a piece of 
bibulous paper that had been dipped first in guaiac tincture, then in 
a weak solution of cupric sulphate, was turned blue, showing the 
presence of hydrocyanic acid. Care was taken that the oxidizing agent 
was not in excess, else the benzoic aldehyd, which was generated from 
the cinnamic acid contained in the oil, would be converted into benzoic 
acid, which is odorless, and would not give any reaction in the state of 

This reaction, showing the presence of cinnamic acid, was obtained 
from the distillate of the next also. 

Another portion of the oil, after adding some potassa, was heated 
and the vapor condensed. The part remaining was treated with dilute 
hydrochloric acid and filtered. To the filtrate nitric acid was added 
and the liquid concentrated, when a reddish-brown resin and star-shaped 
crystals, resembling oxalate of ammonium, were obtained. 

A solution of the crystals yielded a precipitate with calcium chloride 
which was insoluble in acetic acid, but soluble in hydrochloric acid 

Am jIn^8 P 77? rm '} Ammonio-Cupric Sulphate. 13 

showing an oxalate. This with the brown resin indicates that eugenic 
acid (C 10 H 12 O 2 ) was present. 

When the nitric acid was added, an odor so familiar was produced 
that it took some time to place it. It was that of aromatic vinegar, 
indicating that acetic acid was also among the products of the decom- 
position of residue left in the test tube. 


By Fred. B. Power. 

In some experiments with grape-sugar, the action of a very dilute 
solution of ammonio-cupric sulphate was observed ; this reaction being 
of some interest, and, to my knowledge not having been previously 
announced, the following observations may be noted : 

If a drop of the ordinary test solution of cupric sulphate (one part 
of the salt in fourteen parts of water) be allowed to fall into a test 
tube, a slight excess of ammonia water above that required for the 
resolution of the precipitate, added, and further diluted with a small 
quantity of water, by the addition of a few drops of a solution of grape- 
sugar, and heating over a gas flame to the boiling point, the liquid be- 
comes perfectly decolorized in a few seconds. It was found that a solu- 
tion containing one drop of a solution of cupric sulphate of the above 
strength, which forms a deeply tinted-blue liquid upon the addition of 
an excess of ammonia water, becomes perfectly colorless in transmitted 
and reflected light by heating with four drops of a solution of one gram 
of grape-sugar in 100 cubic centimetres of water; this degree of dilu- 
tion of the saccharine solution seems to approach the minimum for the 
attainment of a marked result in the use of this test, and corresponds 
approximately to the detection of 0*005 gram or y'g grain of crystal- 
line grape-sugar. 

The decolorized solution after standing for a few hours exposed to 
the air again assumes its original blue color. 

Milk-sugar and dextrin produce the same reaction as grape-sugar, 
although a somewhat more concentrated solution of dextrin is required. 

Pure mannit, which has no reducing effect upon the solutions of 
Trommer and Fehling, has also no effect upon the ammonio-cupric 

14 Dangerous Candy \ } Am >^8 P 7 h 7 arm 

Cane-sugar is incapable of affecting this change even in highly con- 
centrated solution and after heating for a much longer time with the 
ammonio-cupric solution, although it was observed that when associated 
with grape-sugar a smaller amount of the latter is required for the 
decolorization of the liquid. 

The solution of this salt of copper, as will be observed, being con- 
siderably less sensitive than the test solutions of Trommer and Fehling, 
can by no means supply the place of these valuable reagents, but may 
add one more to the number of the corroborative tests now in use. 

It may also be mentioned in this connection that the solution of 
ammonio-cupric sulphate has met with a somewhat similar application 
by virtue of its capability of converting morphia into a basic oxydation 
product, oxy-morphia, C 17 H 19 N0 4 , which, according to Hesse, is iden- 
tical with another alkaloid of opium, having the same chemical compo- 
sition, pseudo-morphia, and which is insoluble in ether, alcohol and 


By H. G. Debrunner. 

On a recent trip to Massillon, O., I happened to pass the show- 
windows of a fine confectionery store, where a beautiful display of 
candies wrapped in brilliantly-colored paper of all shades could be seen. 
My attention was especially directed to some "kisses" enclosed in 
green paper. Suspecting that the pigment might be Paris-green, 1 
purchased a small quantity of the suspected candy, and subjected the 
paper in which it was wrapped to a careful chemical analysis, with the 
following alarming results : 

Size of one piece of paper, . . . . . 3 X 2j in. ; 
Average weight of one piece of paper, . 0-302 grm. (5 grains) ; 
Quantity of pigment in one paper, . . 0-062 grm. (1 grain)} 
Quantity of arsenic, As 2 3 , in one paper, . 0*032 grm. (J grain) $ 
Quantity of cupric oxide, CuO, in one paper, 0-022 grm. (J grain) j 
Corresponding quantity of met. copper, Cu, 0*017 grm. grain) . 

Paris green, aceto-arsenite of copper may be considered a combina- 
tion of arsenite of copper, or Scheele's green and acetate of copper, or 
verdigris, thus uniting the poisonous qualities of copper-salts and 

Am. Jour. Pharm. ) 
Jan., 1877, J 

Dangerous Candy. 

The qualitative analysis (presence of copper, acetic acid and arseni- 
ous acid) led to the conclusion that the pigment of these papers really 
was the above named and previously suspected substance. 

The fatal dose of arsenic for an adult is from 2 to 5 grains ; a dose 
of half a grain, however (as contained in one paper of the above size), 
will already produce severe symptoms of poisoning; the medicinal dose, 
according to the " U. S. Dispensatory," being 2 \ to 10 of a grain for 
an adult. 

The poisonous pigment is made to adhere to the paper by a simple 
mechanical process — the adhesion is but very slight, and friction, as 
well as moisture, will loosen it entirely. If such candy is given to 
children, particularly to small ones, who may take the colored paper 
in the mouth, or handle it with wet hands, they are in danger of being 

It is difficult to understand how people can be so devoid of conscience 
and reckless to employ for such a purpose such dangerous paper, or if 
it is ignorance, is it excusable ? Is such a practice too trifling a matter 
for the Boards of Health to notice ? 

Otto, the eminent German toxicologist, mentions a case where two 
children lost their lives through a Christmas present — a toy painted 
with Paris-green. The danger is still greater if eatables are enclosed 
in such poisonous paper. 

It would be superfluous to dwell on the dangerousness of wall-paper, 
lamp-shades, artificial flowers, fancy letter-paper, gauze, etc., colored 
with Paris green ; but it should be considered a duty to humanity to 
direct the attention of the public to such facts like the above. 

The analysis : five pieces of paper were treated with nitric acid to 
dissolve the pigment, converting at the same time arsenious into arsenic 
acid. The filtered solution was neutralized with caustic soda, the 
copper precipitated with sulphide of sodium as sulphide of copper, the 
precipitate washed, dried, ignited with the usual precautions and weighed 
as cuprous sulphide, Cu 2 S. 

Arsenic was precipitated from the filtrate on addition of hydrochloric 
acid and sulphuretted hydrogen as trisulphide of arsenic. It was fil- 
tered ofF, washed, and redissolved in nitric acid, thus forming arsenic 
acid. The clear solution was diluted to 100 cc. 

20 cc, representing one piece of paper, were again precipitated with 

1 6 Selections from the Foreign Journals. { Am j J a n U , r xl > 7 7 arm ' 

sulphuretted hydrogen as trisulphide of arsenic, As 2 S 3 , and weighed on 
a tared filter. 

20 cc, heated with sulphuric acid, H 2 S0 4 , and then introduced in 
Marsh's apparatus, yielded very large arsenic mirrors. 

20 cc. were precipitated with chloride of ammonium, ammonia, and 
chloride of magnesium. The voluminous precipitate was filtered off, 
etc., dried at 21 2°, on a tared filter, and weighed, as NH 4 MgAs0 4 + 
H 2 0, ammoniated arseniate of magnesium. 

The remaining 40 cc. were used for different qualitative tests. 

The total amount of pigment was determined by extracting one 
paper with ammonia, 1 and evaporating the blue filtrate on a watch- 

From five papers, of before-named size, I was able to extract a 
globule of metallic copper with the blow-pipe, weighing 0*076 grm., 
= \\ grain. I also have several arsenic mirrors, arsenious acid (in 
beautiful octahedrons and tetrahedrons, visible with the microscope), 
sulphide of arsenic, etc., as corpora delicti, on hand, each sample being 
extracted from one piece of this candy-paper. 

Owing to the fact that " Paris green," if perfectly soluble in ammo- 
nia, is considered " pure," manufacturers often adulterate it with arse- 
nic, which does not interfere with the solubility. This seems to have 
been also the case with the pigment analyzed, the amount of arsenic 
found being rather large. 

The analysis was executed with care, and the correctness of the 
results confirmed by duplicate assays. 
Navarre, O., Dec. 4, 1876. 


By the Editor. 

Comparative Assay of Male Fern The rhizomes collected in 

the spring and fall are, according to Kruse, of a deeper green color 
and a stronger odor than those collected in summer. To ascertain 
the variations in the composition of the rhizome collected at different 
seasons in 1874, comparative assays were made, with the following 
results : 

1 Practical test for purity of Paris green, which is entirely soluble in ammonia. 

Am *j J an U , r i8 P 7 7? rm '} Gleanings from the Foreign Journals. 17 

Moisture of air dry rhizome, 
Moisture in powder, kept in damp atmosphere, 
Ashes of rhizome dried at no C., 
Extract obtained first with water, 

afterwards with alcohol. 
Extract obtained first with alcohol, 

afterwards with water, 
Extract obtained first with ether, 

then with alcohol, 

and with water, 
Extract obtained with gasolin (light petroleum ether) 

afterwards with alcohol, . 
Extract obtained with rectified petroleum, 

then with acetic ether, 
Starch, determined as sugar, 

Sugar, ..... 
Tannin, determined with copper acetate, 
lead acetate, 

Filix red, extracted by ammonia from rhizome previously 

exhausted by water, 
Mucilage and albumen, the alcoholic precipitate in the 

syrupy infusion, 

Rhizome collected. 




1 S'7 


J 3'5 

24 5 


2 1 


2 '5 




z 1 

Z Z o 

5 5 

2 7'3 

26 I 




1 0'7 


IZ' H 


17 5 

10 7 

2 4 5 














5' 1 

4" 9 













5' 2 

6- 9 


5" 2 5 

2- 35 


The author found it impossible to obtain the whole amount of 
filicic acid present suitable for quantitative determination. Rhizomes 
collected in September, 1875, gave results in extracts and in the com- 
position of the ashes, agreeing closely with the results obtained from 
the October rhizome. The ashes contain between 19 and 20 per 
cent, of phosphoric acid, 10 to 11 per cent, silica, 5*5 per cent, sul- 
phuric acid, and some chlorine and carbonic acid, combined with potas- 
sium, calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese and sodium. — Archiv cL 
Phar., 1876, July, 24-32. 

Pyrethrum carneum. — According to Joussel de Bellesme, the 
poisonous properties of the insect powder is not due to the volatile oil, 
but to a crystalline principle which he considers to be an alkaloid, — 
Jour, de Phar. et de Cbim., August, 1876. 

The oils of the aurantiaceae (lemon, bergamot and orange) deposit, 
on standing, a white sediment, which frequently, perhaps always, con- 
tains lead. Dannenberg, who confirms this observation of G. Buch, 
made in 1846, has as yet not been able to collect a sufficient quantity 
of the precipitate to determine the nature of the acid with which the 
lead is combined. — Archiv d. Phar., Sept., 1876, 258. 

1 8 Gleanings from the Foreign Journals. { Am ji° u , r i877. arm ' 

Resina Guaiaci Peruviana Aromatica. — Gehe & Co. have sold 
under this name for about 15 years, a yellowish-brown resin, which 
they obtained from Paris, but could ascertain nothing regarding its 
origin. In thin splinters it is transparent, glossy and of a wine-yellow 
color ; the recent powder is yellow. It fuses at 90 C, has a strong 
odor reminding of rue, anis and lemon, which does not solely depend 
upon the volatile oil, and an acrid not agreeable taste. It does not 
turn blue or green on exposure, or by oxidizing agents. It dissolves 
readily and almost completely in alcohol, ether, chloroform and carbon 
bisulphide, the solutions leaving on evaporation an amorphous residue. 
Sulphuric acid colors the resin red, nitric acid decomposes it. 

Adolf Kopp obtained from it by distillation with water 4 per cent, 
of a yellow neutral volatile oil, having an odor reminding of peppermint 
and lemon. On rectification, the boiling point rose from 168 to 280 C. 
It contains oxygen, the hydrocarbon having the composition C 10 H 16 . 

On treating the resin with fusing potassa, protocatechuic acid 
appears to be formed. With nitric acid a white nitro compound is 
obtained and finally oxalic acid. Among the products of the dry dis- 
tillation of the resin was a volatile oil, which acquired a deep blue 
color in that portion the boiling point of which rose above 260 C. — 
Archiv d. Phar., Sept., 1876, 193-206. 

Sulphomolybdate of Ammonium as a Reagent. — J. B. Nagel- 
voort has experimented with the various reagents recommended for the 
detection of morphia, more particularly with iodic acid, with Huse- 
mann's test (orange color, on adding nitric acid to the solution in sulphu- 
ric acid), and Schneider's test ("Amer. Jour. Phar." 1873, P* 545)> but 
he found Buckingham's test (Ibid., p. 150) far more delicate. He has 
also examined the behavior of the latter test to several other principles 
and confirmed, in the main, Buckingham's results. To avoid the 
decomposing influence of the light, the tests were applied in the dark, 
whereby the final changes of the color appear to be greatly retarded, 
the light or dark blue color being in some cases produced only after one 
or two days. *ooooi grm. of morphia was detected by the beautiful 
purple color instantly produced by the reagent, which is ten times more 
delicate than Froehde's similar reagent. Mixed with milk-sugar '00003 
morphia could be detected, milk-sugar alone turning blue only after 
some minutes' contact with the test liquid. Starch granules become 
blue very rapidly with Buckingham's test, the liquid remaining color- 
less. — Archiv d. Phar., Sept., 1876, 249-254, from O. I. Tijdschr. 

Am jln?, r xf 7 7* rm '} Cleanings from the Foreign Journals. 19 

Clarified Honey is obtained by E. Dannenberg, of unexception- 
able quality, by diluting the crude honey with half its weight of water, 
boiling for 15 or 30 minutes, according to the quantity operated upon, 
the scum being carefully removed, and then adding five or six times 
•sufficient cold water to interrupt the boiling for not over half a minute. 
After boiling for another 15 minutes, the hot honey is strained and 
-evaporated. Thus prepared the author has kept the honey unaltered 
for over two years. — Archiv d. Phar., Sept., 187^, 276. 

Extract of Hyoscyamus. — R. Huguet observed in an old extract 
a large number of crystals, the principal form of which was the regular 
octohedron, in some cases with combinations of the cube. By incinera- 
tion he obtained between 22*28 and 31*5 per cent, of fixed residue, 
containing from 5*12 to 8*4 of potassium chloride. — Rep. de Phar., 
1876, p. 545. 

Mercurial Ointment. — E. Dannenberg recommends for the rapid 
extinction of the mercury to triturate 500 grams with about 80 grams 
of lard and 15 to 20 grams of olein, after which the remaining fat is 
added.— Archiv d. Phar., Sept., 1876, 256. 

The Preparation of Sulphide of Iron is best accomplished, 
according to Dr. Mehu, by mixing two parts of finely powdered pyrites 
or bisulphide of iron with one part of powdered iron, and heating the 
intimate mixture in a Hessian crucible to redness for half an honr. It 
is unnecessary to increase the heat to fusion ; a grey mass is obtained 
which is easily pulverized, and in contact with hydrochloric acid, copi- 
ously evolves sulphuretted hydrogen. — Zeitschr. d. cest. Apoth. Ver., 
1876, p. 413. 

Adulterated Sulphate of Quinia has been noticed in France by 
Dr. P. Jaillard ; it contained the almost incredible amount of 70 per 
cent, of potassium nitrate. The adulterated article had the appearance 
of the pure salt, but possessed a bitter and saline taste, was to a large 
extent soluble in water at the ordinary temperature, only in part soluble 
in strong alcohol. The aqueous solution heated with an acid solution 
of ferrous chloride, oxidizes the latter readily. The salt heated upon 
the blade of a knife deflagrates and leaves a white ash. — Jour, de Phar. 
et de Chi?n., Nov., 1876. 

Reactions of Phenol with some of the Cinchona Alkaloids. 
— By O. Hesse (Liebig's Annalen, clxxxii, 160-163). — When equal 

20 Gleanings from the Foreign Journals. { Am *jl n " r ' I f 7 b 7 ^ rn 

molecular weights of cinchonidia and phenol are dissolved in dilute 
alcohol and mixed, an oily liquid separates and on standing becomes 
crystalline ; if strong alcohol be employed, fine crystals are produced,, 
constituting colorless, glassy, odorless prisms, stable in the air, but 
evolving phenol on heating : these have the composition 2C 20 H 24 N 3 - 
O.C 6 H 6 0, whence the author terms the compound semi-phenol cinchon- 
idia ; the whole of the associated phenol is expelled at 130 and is lost 
on repeatedly crystallising from alcohol. This substance is capable of 
combining with acids, e.g., sulphuric acid forming the double phenolo- 
sulphate formerly described (this Journal, 1876, ii, 3 13) 1 ; in alcoholic 
solution it has a strongly alkaline reaction, and precipitates ferric oxide 
from a solution of a chloride. Addition of excess of acid causes the 
separation of phenol, a cinchonidia salt being formed. 

If 2 — 3 molecules of phenol are employed for one of cinchonidia, 
crystals are obtained containing more phenol, being represented by the 
formula 2C 20 H 24 N 2 O,3C 6 H 6 O ; whence the author terms this body 
sesqui-phenol cinchonidia. No more phenol becomes added on recrystal- 
lization from alcohol containing much phenol ; on solution in hot alco- 
hol, or on gentle heating, the crystals are partly decomposed, with 
evolution of phenol ; when one part of sesqui-phenol cinchonidia is 
dissolved in about five of alcohol, the crystals which separate have 
about the composition of semi-phenol cinchonidia ; with larger quantities 
of alcohol a smaller amount of phenol is retained, and finally pure 
cinchonidia separates. On saturating the hot alcoholic solution with 
sulphuric acid, cinchonidia phenolo-sulphate 2C 20 H 24 N 2 O.C 6 H 6 O.H 2 
S0 4< 4H 2 crystallizes out on cooling. 

Although quinia and cinchonidia readily combine with phenol, the 
dextro-rotatory cinchona alkaloids, cinchonia, quinidia and quinamina 
crystallize unchanged from an alcoholic solution .containing phenol, 
whatever may be the proportion between the alkaloid and phenol 
present. — C. R. A. W. in Jour. Chem. Soc, Dec, 1876. 

Solubility of Salicylic Acid. — B. Kohlmann states that 300 parts 
of water fail to retain one part of salicylic acid in permanent solution, 
even at the summer temperature. The addition of sodium phosphate 
and similar salts having an alkaline reaction is considered to be inad- 
missible, because the antiseptic properties are thereby impaired. Gly- 
cerin and alcohol do not materially increase the solubility in water 
unless added in considerable proportion. A very convenient solvent is. 
1 "Amer. Jour. Phar.," 1876, p. 325. 

Am '/a n U ;'i8 P 7 7 arm -} Gleanings from the Foreign Journals. 21 

found in the officinal solution of ammonium acetate, which will dis- 
solve 20 per cent, of salicylic acid. The simplest way to effect the 
solution is to dissolve, by agitation, 10 parts of salicylic acid in 24 
parts of officinal ammonia water, and then add enough acetic acid 
until a slight acid reaction is obtained. The solution has a saline 
taste, which is not at all unpleasant. — Jour, f, Prakt. Cbem., 1876, 
f>. 286. 

[If this solution is made to correspond in strength with the liquor 
ammonii acetatis, " U. S. P.," it should be diluted with water until it 
measures eight times the bulk of the officinal acetic acid employed for 
neutralization. Whether such a combination possesses antiseptic 
properties equal to those of the salicylic acid contained therein is not 
stated. It should, however, be borne in mind that, according to recent 
observations, salicylic acid combined with alkalies, appears to be by no 
means without medicinal effect, the carbonic acid contained in the 
blood being regarded as an efficient agent to liberate the salicylic acid. 
See also " Amer. Jour. Pharm.," 1876, p. 277. — Editor Amer. 
Jour. Pharm.] 

Estimation of the Alkaloids of Sabadilla and Physostigma. 
— E. Masing has found that pure veratria, dissolved with the requisite 
quantity of acid in 14,670 parts of water, yields, with Mayer's solu- 
tion, a faint turbidity just recognizable, while on the addition of 1 
per cent. H 2 S0 4 the limit is reached with a dilution of 1 in 11,400. 

The sabadlllia double iodide dissolves in 17,630 parts of pure water, 
and in 19,300 parts of water containing 1 per cent, sulphuric acid. 

The solubility of the hydrargyro-iodide of sabatrina is greater than 
that of the preceding alkaloids ; in pure and in acidulated water, con- 
taining 1 per cent. H 2 S0 4 it appears to be 1 : 2450. 

Commercial ver atria gives, with Mayer's solution, a larger indication 
of alkaloid than that employed (in one case 0*8645, instead of 0*7772 
grams used) ; the cause for this variation, which in the presence of 
sabadillia and sabatrina should be smaller instead^of larger, has not been 
ascertained. Air-dry sabadilla seeds indicated an amount of alkaloids, 
which, if calculated as veratria, was equal to 3*61 per cent. 

Physostigmia, prepared by Vee and Leven's process ( u Amer. Jour. 
Pbar.," 1865, p. 204), ceases to react with Mayer's solution when dis- 
solved in 9500 parts of pure water, or in 8800 parts of acidulated 
water, containing 1 per cent. H 2 S0 4 . One kilogram of Calabar beans 

22 Gleanings from the Foreign Journals. { Am 'j^" r i^ arnSk 

treated in this manner, yielded only 0*7482 grams of alkaloid, while 
Mayer's test solution indicated, in two experiments, 0*399 and 0*433. 
per cent, respectively. — Archiv d. Phar., October, 310-317. 

The Constituents of Tolubalsam. — By E. Busse ( u Deut. Cherru 
Ges. Ber.," ix, 830). — Somewhat contradictory results have been arrived 
at by Fremy, Deville, Kopp, Scharling and Carles, partly at least due 
to the fact that the mode of operating was calculated in some cases to 
bring about decomposition of the bodies originally present. The 
author dissolved 1 kilo, of partly resinized tolu balsam in 2 litres of 
ether, filtered the liquid from a little insoluble matter, and then agitated 
it with 2 litres of soda-solution containing 100 grams Na 2 ; after 
agitating the ethereal liquor again with soda, and washing with water, a 
residue was obtained on distilling off the ether, consisting of 85 grams 
of fluid neutral compounds. On fractional distillation, a little passed 
over below 200 , more between 250 and 300 , and most of all above 
320 . The first or these fractions appeared on analysis to be impure 
benzylic alcohol ; it formed benzoic aldehyd and acid on oxidation. 
The second gave a distillate at 300 , consisting of benzyl benzoate^. 
C 14 H 12 2 ; on saponification it formed benzylic alcohol and a benzoate. 
The third portion consisted of benzyl cinnamate, C 16 H 14 2 ; it furnished 
cinnamic acid and benzylic alcohol on saponification, and had the spec* 
grav. 1*1145 at I 6 <? . 

Hence the neutral constituents of tolu balsam are the same as those 
found by Kraut in Peru balsam, only they exist in smaller quantity and 
different proportions, benzyl cinnamate forming the majority in the 
first, benzyl benzoate in the second. 

The soda liquors obtained as above described were saturated with 
carbonic acid, whereby much resin was precipitated ; the filtrate 
yielded a precipitate on addition of hydrochloric acid ; one-half of the 
cinnamic acids thus thrown down was boiled with milk of lime ; a 
sparingly soluble lime salt was thus obtained containing (after recrystal- 
lisation) 10*26 per cent, of calcium, the cinnamate requiring 10*30 per 
cent. : from this cinnamic acid melting at 133 was isolated. The 
mother-liquors of the sparingly soluble calcium cinnamate contained 
much calcium benzoate, which crystallized out after concentration ; 
this gave (after several recrystallizations) numbers agreeing with the 
formula Ca(C 7 H 5 2 ) 2 -l-3H 2 ; and from it benzoic acid was precipi- 
tated, melting at 120*5°. 

Am ;j J a n u %^ 7 h 7 ? rm ' } Glycerol of Nitrate of Bismuth. 2 3 

The other half of the mixture of acids was dissolved in alcohol and 
treated with hydrochloric acid gas ; by fractional distillation the ethers* 
thus formed were separated ; the portion distilling at 21 5 gave num- 
bers agreeing with the formula C 9 H 10 O 2 , ethyl ben'zoate ; that passing 
over at 265 agreed with C n H 12 2 , ethyl cinnamate. 

Hence tolubalsam contains free benzoic and cinnamic acids, as well 
as their benzylic ethers. — C. R. A. W. in four. Chem. Soc. 

Analysis of Pumpkin Seeds. — Nicolai Kopylow has ascertained 
that these seeds contain no alkaloid, nor could the presence of a 
glucoside be established which, by Dorner and Wolkowitsh, was sup- 
posed to exist therein and named by them cucurbitin (1870). The 
last named authors had found 44*50 fixed oil, 32*75 starch and traces 
of volatile oil, resin, sugar and coloring matter. Kopylow ascertained 
the fat to consist of the glycerides of palmitic, myristic and oleic acids, 
and the fat extracted by ether also to contain free fatty acids. — Phar, 
Zeitschr.f Russl., 1876, No. 17. 

Euryangium Sumbul, according to Carl Wittmann, occurs very 
frequently in the neighborhood of Chabarowka, on the Amoor river in 
Eastern Siberia, and attains a height of 1*5 metres. The fleshv 
branching root has at its base a diameter of 0*09 metre, and possesses 
a strong musk odor which is increased when the root is moistened with 
water. The stem is fleshy ; leaves are twice or thrice pinnate, pinnae 
lanceolate and sharply serrate ; umbels composed of 30 to 50 rays ; 
flowers white and small. It is called by the natives ofuokgi or ouchi ; 
by the Chinese 'zsouma-tschen-tuk, and by the Russian inhabitants bear's 
claw, and is medicinally employed in various diseases. 

Another umbelliferous plant occurs there having considerable resem- 
blance to the former, but being somewhat smaller, the leaves lighter 
colored and the root destitute of musk odor. — Ibid., No. 18. 


By Balmanno SquiRE, M.B., Lond., 
Surgeon to ihe British Hospital for Diseases of the Skin. 
A note I contributed to the " Pharmaceutical Journal " (see " Am. 
Jour. Phar." 1876, p. 318) on glycerol of subacetate of lead, this 
summer, has been followed by the adoption of that preparation as a 
remedy, not only in skin diseases (particularly in chronic eczema, the 

24 Glycerol of Nitrate of Bismuth. { Am 'fS'-J***' 

purpose for which I had designed it), but also quite as much in uterine 
diseases. I am encouraged, therefore, to propose now a soluble 
preparation of nitrate of bismuth, if such a proposition is not too absurd 
to be listened to. 

The value of bismuth as an application in a great variety of skin 
diseases is well known, but its use in this direction, and indeed as I 
may say for every purpose for which bismuth has yet been employed 
as a remedy, has always been much crippled by the difficulties that have 
always hitherto existed in the way of obtaining a solution of bismuth. 

There is of course the liquor bismuthi et ammoniae citratis of the 
" Pharmacopoeia," but it is a matter of doubt whether this double salt 
presents the properties, as a local application, of a simple salt of 
bismuth. It is of course merely as a local application that bismuth is 
employed in medicine, that is to say as a local application to the stomach 
in cases of painful digestion or of waterbrash, and its use in skin 
affections, in gonorrhoea, and so forth, is equally of the character of a 
topical application. 

The difficulty, or rather the impossibility, of making an aqueous 
solution of nitrate of bismuth, otherwise than in the presence of a 
large excess of nitric acid (an agent which renders that solution per- 
fectly useless for any purpose for which bismuth is serviceable), arises 
from two causes, the one the feeble basic properties of teroxide 
of bismuth, and the other the basic properties of water, — the 
water robbing the nitrate of bismuth of the greater portion of its nitric 
acid, and so precipitating nearly all of the bismuth in the form of the 
so-called trisnitrate. 

It occurred to me, accordingly, that by the employment of glycerin 
as a solvent in place of water, both of these drawbacks might be cir- 
cumvented, if only it should prove that nitrate of bismuth should be 
capable of solution in glycerin. I find that it is freely soluble in 
glycerin, and that it dissolves without decomposition. As I 
think there is likely to be a large demand for this solution, 
I think it necessary to communicate this fact to the pharmaceutical 
body through their journal. For example, I applied to one of the 
first pharmaceutical chemists of this city for a solution of nitrate of 
bismuth in glycerin, and I was told, firstly, that the salt would certainly 
not dissolve in glycerin, so that he could not supply me with such a solu- 
tion, and in the next place he told me that the nitrate was not kept by 
any chemist because there was no demand for it. 

rt% rm - } Glycerol of Nitrate of Bismuth. 2 5 

Now I think that henceforth the nitrate should be kept by every 
chemist. I will explain why I think so. In the first place its solution 
in glycerin will prove without doubt the most valuable means of apply- 
ing the remedy to any external surface, and in the next place it will 
serve equally as a means of administering bismuth internally, or if it 
be desired that an aqueous solution should be so administered, 
even that may be done. For on diluting freely the glycerol with 
water, the presence of glycerin, as I find, serves to delay the precipita- 
tion of the bismuth by water, so that for quite half an hour, at the 
least, no turbidity whatever takes place, provided the water used be 
cold water. It seems to me, moreover, that the presence of glycerin 
absolutely prevents, even after the lapse of several hours, the precipi- 
tation of more than a small proportion of the contained nitrate ; 
insomuch that I have reason to believe that a merely moderate dilution 
of the glycerol might leave a permanently clear solution, but I have 
Dot as yet made quantitative experiments on this head. 

We accordingly have henceforward at our command a preparation 
which has for long been a desideratum, and one the contrivance of 
which has baffled the efforts of the compilers of our " Pharmacopoeia," 
and indeed the efforts of every one who has devoted attention to the 

I was assured on all hands that' if I ever should succeed in getting 

o to 

by any means a solution of nitrate of bismuth, I should find that I had 
'before me a very irritating application instead of what I desired, that 
is to say, a bland astringent. But I have sucked my glycerol ; I have 
*even rubbed it into my tongue, and I find it to be merely what I had 
designed it to be, and that is a bland and mild astringent. It is obvious 
that a soluble preparation of a drug is a much more efficient and cer- 
tain mode of employing it than an insoluble one, and that a simpler 
preparation of the article is likely to prove a more active and service- 
able mode of administering it than any more complicated preparation 
•of it. I accordingly lay the results of my investigation before the 
pharmaceutical body in the confidence that they will soon develop its 
capabilities in a very considerable degree. 

As an application to the throat, the larynx, the vagina, the uterus 
and the urethra, as well as to the skin, and no less as an internal 
remedy, I believe the preparation of glycerol of nitrate of bismuth 
will be found to open out a new field of therapeutics. 


Solvents of Salicylic Acid, 

Am. Jour. Pharm. 
Jan., 1877 

Since writing the above, I find the glycerol of nitrate of bismuth to 
be a somewhat more stimulant application, in cases of eczema, than a 
glycerol of the subacetate of lead of corresponding strength. 

On the other hand, I find by sucking the actual crystals of the 
nitrate of bismuth, that the salt is in no degree a caustic, and not more 
acid to the taste than crystals of citric acid. — Phar. Jour and Trans. > 
Nov. 11, 1876. 


By J. C. Thresh, Pharmaceutical Chemist. 

To increase the facility with which salicylic acid may be adminis- 
tered, various substances have been proposed, which increase in a 
remarkable manner the solvent action of water upon it. The salts 
usually employed for this purpose are borax, phosphate of soda and 
citrate of ammonia, and my experiments were undertaken to ascertain 
whether or not this increased solubility was due to some chemical 
decomposition between the acid and the salts employed, and if the 
solutions thus formed possessed the antiseptic and antifermentative 
properties of the free acid. 

Borax. — This salt is remarkable for its solvent action upon a large 
number of organic compounds, the nature of which action is not, in 
most cases, yet ascertained. If borax and salicylic acid be mixed in a 
mortar, the result is a damp almost pasty mass. The taste at first is- 
simply that of the acid and borax, but in a very short time it begins tc 
acquire a bitter taste, and after a few hours it will be found to be in- 
tensely bitter. If a little of the freshly prepared mixture be carefully 
fused the resulting mass at once becomes exceedingly bitter, and if the 
proportions employed were one of borax to two of acid, the mass is- 
soluble in about twice its weight of water. A dilute solution of five 
gr. each of acid and borax in one ounce of water is devoid of ^bitter- 
ness, and remains so even after keeping a length of time, but stronger 
solutions soon become bitter. I have failed as yet to ascertain the 
nature of this reaction, or to isolate the bitter product, unless a crystal- 
line deposit, which is slowly forming in a solution of 2*5 borax, 4 acid 
and 50 water, which is evaporating spontaneously, proves to be the 
substance in question. 

Phosphate of Soda. — This salt has not a solvent effect equal to 

Am. Jour. Pharm. \ 
Jan., 1877. j 

Solvents of Salicylic Acid. 


that of either borax or ammonium citrate. One part of salicylic acid 

2 parts of phosphate to form a solution with 50 parts water. 
z'2 5 « « 25 " 

2-5! tt « a I2 - 5 « 

Solutions 1 and 2 are colorless, but the strongest solution has a 
slight pink tint (characteristic of salicylic salts). Diluted with water, 
ferric chloride added in excess gives a purple red solution, which also 
indicates the existence of a salicylic salt, since whilst free salicylic acid 
strikes a purple color with ferric chloride, its salts give a deep-red color- 
ation with this reagent. No phosphoric acid, however, is liberated, for 
a single drop of the dilute acid added to the solution causes a precipita- 
tion of salicylic acid. 

Ammonium Citrate. — I first ascertained, by experiment, that this 
citrate, whilst increasing the solubility of salicylic acid in water to a 
much greater extent than sodium citrate, yet possesses no advantages 
over potassium citrate, and as this latter was more convenient for my 
purpose, I have employed it in preference. 

Table of solubility of salicylic acid in potassium citrate solution : 
Salicylic Acid 1 Citrate '75 Water 100 

" 1 " i-o 

" 1 " 115 

« 1 " 1-25 

2 5 

1 " 1*4 

« I " 1.5 

A stronger solution than the last solidfies upon cooling, but the 
nature of the mass I have not yet ascertained. It gives reactions indi- 
cative of free and combined salicylic acid and of combined citric acid, 
but not of free citric acid. An alcoholic solution of potassium salicy- 
late, mixed with a similar solution of citric acid, gives a precipitate of 
potassium citrate, which readily dissolves on the addition of a little 
water, and the solution thus formed is miscible with water, without 
precipitation of salicylic acid. 1 dram Acid. Salicylic, 3J drams. Sp. 
Vin. Rect., 1 dram. Pot. Cit. and 3J drams. Water, form a solution 
miscible with water in all proportions, and 2 drams of which contain 
15 grains of the acid. In this solution diluted, acetic acid gives no 
precipitate, citric acid causes a precipitate to form slowly, mineral acids 
throw down the salicylic acid instantly ; ferric chloride colors the fluid 

1 Three drams would contain a full dose (fifteen grains nearly) of salicylic acid. 

2 8 

Cinchona Febrifuge. 

f Am. Jour. Pharm. 
\ Jan., 1877 

To ascertain the antiseptic value of the solutions formed by aid of 
these salts, I added them to a number of infusions (malt, quassia, 
calumba, etc.), to grape-juice and flour-paste, and so far as I can tell 
after the lapse of two months, with the exception of flour-paste and 
grape-juice, the solutions are equally as fresh as those prepared with 
free salicylic acid. 

To test their antifermentative powers, I prepared over thirty mix- 
tures of flour (1 oz.) and water (J oz.) with 20 grains of German yeast 
in each, and added thereto various proportions of free salicylic acid, of 
potassium salicylate acidified with acetic acid and of salicylic acid dis- 
solved by aid of borax, phosphate of soda and citrate of potash, and in 
the cases where no fermentation ensued, I confirmed the result by 
repetitions of the experiments. 

The smallest quantity of free salicylic acid, which uniformly pre- 
vented the rising of the dough, was 1 grain. The acidified salicylate 
of potash had not the slightest effect unless added in large proportions. 
1 grain of acid in borax solution was equally as powerful as the free 
acid. A similar quantity dissolved by aid of ammonia citrate or sodium 
phosphate only retarded for a variable time the fermentation, but in 
both cases 1 \ gr. was found effectually to arrest it. 

It is, therefore, evident that some reaction as yet undetermined does 
take place between the salicylic acid and the salts employed as its sol- 
vents, yet that, in whatever state the salicylic acid exists in the above 
named solutions, it is capable of exhibiting in a high degree all those 
properties which have conferred upon it such notoriety. — Phar. Jour, 
and Trans., November 25th, 1876. 


By C. H. Wood, Government Quinologist. 
The present method of treating cinchona bark was adopted as a 
temporary measure to afford the means of ascertaining the medicinal 
value of the proposed febrifuge. It was considered undesirable to incur 
any large expenditure for factory buildings, machinery or skilled labor, 
until the efficacy of the product as a remedial agent had been thor- 
oughly determined by extensive trials. Consequently, it was neces- 
sary to so arrange the process that it could be conducted for some time 
on a considerable scale, and involve no other appliances than such as 

Am j J a n u :-x? 7 h 7 arm '} Cinchona Febrifuge. 29 

were already at hand. The dry bark is crushed into small pieces, but 
not powdered, and is put into wooden casks, where it is macerated in 
the cold with very dilute hydrochloric acid. The liquor is then run 
off into wooden vessels, and mixed with an excess of a strong solution 
of caustic soda. A precipitate forms, which is collected on calico fil- 
ters, and well washed with water. The precipitate is then dried at a 
gentle heat, and powdered. It constitutes the crude febrifuge, which 
is next submitted to a process of purification. In the latter process a 
certain weight of the crude product is dissolved in dilute sulphuric 
acid, and a small quantity of a solution of sulphur in caustic soda is 
added to the liquor. After the lapse of twenty-four hours the liquor 
is carefully filtered. The filtrate is mixed with caustic soda, and the 
resulting precipitate collected on calico, washed with a small quantity 
of water, dried and powdered. It is then ready for issue, and is sent 
out under the name of " Cinchona Febrifuge." A position for the 
factory sheds was chosen conveniently near the dry bark go-downs> 
and so situated on the side of the hill that a copious supply of water 
could be obtained at a level with the roof of the sheds in which the 
maceration is conducted. These sheds are rough, temporary erections, 
constructed with saplings and a mat or thatch roof. Down the cen- 
tre an open drain is cut to carry off" the waste liquor. Over this drain 
some wooden stands are placed, on which the calico filters rest. The 
filters are formed by tying a square piece of calico to a wooden frame 
by the four corners. On each side of the shed is placed a row of 
twenty-one casks, standing on end upon a stand which elevates them 
about two feet from the ground. They are empty beer barrels, which 
have been purchased from the Commissariat Department at Darjeeline^ 
the head removed, and the cask thoroughly cleansed. A hole is cut in 
the side of the cask at a level with the bottom, and closed with a cork. 
In front of the casks a row of tubs, formed by cutting beer barrels in 
halves, is placed, so that on uncorking the barrels the liquor will run 
out into .the tubs. Outside the shed, at one end, are a couple of large 
wooden vats, at such an elevation that liquid can flow from them along 
a bamboo trough into any one of the barrels in the shed. The capa- 
city of the vats, up to a mark on the inside near the top, is accurately 
determined. Water is run into the vat up to the mark, and a certain 
quantity of muriatic acid is added, and the whole well mixed. This 
diluted acid can then be run into any one of the casks in a line with 


Cinchona Febrifuge. 

fAm. Jour. Pharm. 
1 Jan., 1877. 

the vat, by means of a bamboo trough. In addition to the macerating 
sheds, there is a small brick building, heated with charcoal, in which 
the precipitate is dried ; also a separate shed, in which the process of 
purification is conducted. The casks are worked in sets of three, and 
are marked A, B, C. In each shed there are fourteen sets, seven on 
each side. Each cask receives one maund of dry bark, which under- 
goes four successive macerations, the liquor being moved in rotation 
through the three casks. Each maceration lasts half a week. The 
liquid used for the fourth and last maceration is acidulated water drawn 
from the vat. When this is run off, it is moved into the next cask to 
form the third liquor. When this is drawn off, it forms the second 
liquor for another cask, and when transferred from that, it goes on to 
new bark, from which it is drawn off and precipitated. Of course, in 
starting a new shed every cask contains dry bark, consequently the 
svstem of rotation is not brought into full operation until after the first 
fortnight, and it is only after the shed has been in operation- for three 
and a half weeks that the liquor for precipitation has been used for 
four macerations. The liquor that is for precipitation is run into the 
tubs. The other liquors are drawn into wooden buckets and poured 
into the proper casks. The new acid is then drawn from the vats. 
The diluted acid is made in the vat by adding one gallon of muriatic 
acid to every hundred gallons of water — ten fluidounces to each cubic 
foot. If three sheds are emyloyed, No. 1 is worked on Mondays and 
Thursdays, No. 2 on Tuesdays and Fridays, and No. 3 on Wednes- 
days and Saturdays. Each set of three casks exhausts one maund of 
dry bark per week. Three sheds, therefore, containing forty-two 
casks each, would exhaust forty-two maunds of bark every week. The 
weight of acid used in the exhaustion is six and a half per cent, of the 
weight of dry bark. It is obtained from Mr. Waldie's chemical works 
at a cost of three and a half annas per pound in Calcutta. To precipi- 
tate the saturated liquor, a solution of caustic soda is added in excess. 
The caustic soda is obtained from England in five-cwt. drums, costing 
from £15 to £20 per ton in London. One part of this is dissolved in 
three parts of water, and the solution stored in iron vessels. The 
quantity to be added to the bark liquor must be judged of by the 
appearance produced. When a sufficient quantity has been introduced 
the precipitate assumes a somewhat curdy condition. 

About six and a half pounds of solid soda are used for every hundred 

Am. Jour. Pharm. ) 
Jan , 1877. j 

Cinchona Febrifuge. 


pounds of dry bark. The filtration is not commenced until the follow- 
ing day, when the liquor is transferred to the calico strainers, which 
have been well wetted. The first portions that run through are 
returned, until the liquid passes of a bright ruby color ; it is then 
allowed to flow away by the drain. After all the liquor has drained off", 
water is passed through the precipitate until it ceases to acquire a red 
tint. The alkaloids on the filter should then be of a uniform cream 
color. The precipitate is now dried and reduced to a fine powder, 
which is stored in suitable bins. It constitutes the crude febrifuge. 
The precipitate, during the act of drying, acquires a slightly reddish- 
brown color. It is, therefore, submitted to a process of purification. 
Fourteen gallons of water are mixed with two pints of sulphuric acid, 
and twenty pounds of the dry powder are introduced. The alkaloids 
dissolve, and a quantity of coloring matter remains insoluble. About 
half a pint of a solution of sulphur in caustic soda is now stirred in, 
and the whole allowed to stand for twenty-four hours. It is then 
filtered through calico into a clean vessel, care being taken to get the 
liquor perfectly bright. About six gallons of water are used to wash 
the sediment left on the filters. The clear filtrate is thoroughly mixed 
with solution of soda to precipitate the alkaloid. The precipitate is 
collected on calico, washed with a small quantity of water, drained, 
dried and reduced to fine powder. It is then ready for issue. Wooden 
tubs are used for this process, but they are not so well suited for the 
purpose as enameled iron or earthernware. The purification is con- 
ducted in a separate shed by a man who is confined to that work. The 
only workmen employed in the factory are Nepalese coolies. When 
the process is once brought into full operation, it is found that these 
men readily master every detail, and conduct the whole thing with all 
the care and accuracy that is required. But, of course, the factory is 
under the supervision of Mr. Gammie, the officer in charge of the 
plantations, who visits it once a day and sees that the work is being 
properly performed. Dry succirubra bark only is employed. More- 
over, care is taken to mix the root, stem and branch bark together in 
as nearly as possible the proportions in which they are yielded by the 

This mixture is broken into small pieces, and a maund of it goes into 
each cask. This is done to insure uniformity of composition in the 
product. Green bark is never operated on. It will be seen that the 

32 Erythrophlceum Guineense. { Am jln?*;J^ 

arrangement of the process requires that a certain weight of bark should 
be put into the casks every week throughout the year. This could 
not be done with green bark, because bark is only taken from the 
trees twice per annum. Apart from this, however, it has been. found 
that dry bark yields a much better product, and quite as large a quan- 
tity. The small cost of drying the bark is more than counterbalance! 
by the advantages gained. It must be remembered that this method 
has only been adopted to furnish a large supply of febrifuge for triaL 
It does not profess to make the most economical use possible of the 
bark. The factory is estimated to turn out during the present finan- 
cial year four thousand eight hundred pounds of febrifuge, which at a 
rupee (2s.) an ounce, will pay the whole cost of the plantations and 
manufacture for the year. If the product proves to be of permanent 
value as a remedial agent, it is probable that the process will be consid- 
erably modified to produce greater economy, but involving the use of 
permanent buildings and machinery. — your. App. Sd. [Lond], Decem- 
ber 1st, 1876. 


By N. Gallois and E. Hardy. 

The Erythrophlceum guineense is a tall tree belonging to the family 
Leguminostz, and growing along the west coast of Africa. Its wood is 
very hard, and is covered with a hard fibrous and odorless bark, which 
contains an active poison, and to which the name of erythrophleina has 
been given. Erythrophleina is a base and may be obtained by extract- 
ing the pulverised bark with alcohol, evaporating the tincture to a small 
bulk, treating this with warm water, evaporating the aqueous extract at 
a low temperature, rendering it alkaline with ammonia, or sodium car- 
bonate, and extracting with acetic ether. On evaporating the resulting 
solution the base is left. It is only slightly soluble in ordinary ether, 
in benzol or in chloroform, but dissolves in water, acetic ether, amylic 
alcohol, and ordinary alcohol. It forms salts with acids, and its 
chloride is precipitated by platinic chloride, forming a double salt. The 
following reactions have been noted with solutions of erythrophleina : — 

Picric acid : yellow-green precipitate. 

Iodine, in potassium iodide : reddish-yellow precipitate. 

Iodide of mercury and potassium : white precipitate. 

Iodide of bismuth and cadmium : flocculent white precipitate. 

Am. Tour. Pharm. 
Jan., 1877. 



Potassium bichromate : yellowish precipitate. 
Mercuric chloride : white precipitate. 
Auric chloride : whitish precipitate. 
Palladic chloride : white precipitate. 

In contact with manganese peroxide and sulphuric acid, it develops 
a violet color (less intense than that produced under similar circum- 
stances by trychnia), which soon changes to a dirty-brown. 

Erythrophleina possesses very marked toxic properties, and must be 
placed amongst those poisons which act upon the heart. 

Two milligrams injected under the skin of a frog's foot caused the 
cessation of the heart's action in five to eight minutes. The ventricles 
cease in systole, the auricles generally in diastole. The cessation of 
the cardiac muscle is succeeded by a torpor of all the muscles, during 
which death occurs. The double salt with platinic chloride produces 
the same effect as the base itself. 

Atropia does not rally the action of the heart paralyzed by erythro- 
phleina, but curare delays the effects. 

E. Coumlnga is a variety resembling E. guineense. All parts of it 
are poisonous, and the poison consists of an alkaloid, of which the 
physiological effects are similar to those of erythrophleina. — C. H. P. 
in Jour. Chem. Soc, Nov., 1876, from Bull. Soc. Chim. [2], ccxxi, 


Student Life in Germany. By Frederick B. Power. — The thought occurred to 
the writer that a glimpse of student life in Germany might not be entirely devoid 
of interest to some American students or Pharmacists, and more especially in 
relation to those studies pursued by Pharmacists in the departments of science of 
the German Universities. 

The German University, as is generally known, is wider in its scope than many 
American Colleges and Universities, and adopts a method of instruction diverging 
considerably from the more general collegiate curriculum ; it also finds such earnest 
recognition from the fact of its liberality, the student not being compelled to gain 
his information from prescribed text books, or to follow a contracted and mechanical 
course of study, but such studies as he may wish to pursue may be selected by him 
at his option. The University year is divided into two semesters of about five 
months each, the winter semester beginning the latter part of October and ending 
the latter part of March j the summer semester beginning about the middle of 
April and ending about the middle of August, a short vacation being allowed at 
the Easter season and a vacation of two months during the summer. 




Am. Jour. Pharm.. 
Jan., 1877. 

The Faculties as a rule embrace Theology, Law and Political Science, Philosophy,, 
Medicine, Mathematics and the Natural Sciences. In the latter department may 
be found almost exclusively those branches of special interest to the Pharmacist and 
Chemist, with the exception of a few of indirect importance, which are included in 
the Faculty of Medicine and treated more in relation to the requirements of medical 
science, such as Toxicology, Pharmacology, Physiological and Pathological 

The Mathematical and Natural Science Faculty embraces theoretical and 
practical Chemistry, Pharmacognosy, Botany, Mineralogy, Physics, Geology y 
Zoology, Palaeophytology, Palaeontology and the higher branches of Mathematics. 

From this somewhat extended list such may be selected as may meet the require- 
ments of individual purposes and needs, and it not unfrequently occurs that the 
students change from one University to another, to study in some special depart- 
ment where the Professor, through original investigation and research in the field of 
discovery, has acquired greater celebrity. 

The Vorlesungen, readings or lectures by the Professors, take place at different 
hours of the day, and are so arranged in the respective faculties that the attendance 
of one may not preclude the attendance of another, beginning at 8 or 9 in the 
morning, are followed by other Professors at intervals throughout the day until 6 
or 8 in the evening 5 the time intervening between lecture hours being employed by 
the students in Laboratory work. 

The Laboratories, although differing in size and elegance of appointments^ 
according to the wealth and position maintained by the respective Universities, are 
generally well supplied with all the conveniences and accessories for the execution 
of practical work and investigation in the several domains of science. 

The Libraries which form a vast storehouse of knowledge, as also the reading 
rooms, where maybe found all the current scientific literature, are also accessible to 
the students upon the payment of a small sum. 

The students are comprised not only of those who still retain a vivid recollection 
of the ordeal of a German Gymnasium examination, but also of many upon whom 
the hand of time has made its impress. They are also, as a class, not possessed of 
unlimited means, and are therefore necessarily confined to the plainer modes of life. 
Their quarters are often to be found in the fifth story, at which elevation the rooms 
are the cheapest, and from which a song has originated entitled, Fiinf Treppen 
hoch. The furniture of these rooms may consist of a writing table, chair, student 
lamp, and perhaps adorning the wall one or more capacious pipes. 

Upon entering the University buildings, may be observed a black-board, where 
official and other announcements of general information to the students are from 
time to time made known, such as changes in the hours appointed for lectures, etc 
There also may usually be seen a placard announcing the location of the Fecht- 
boden, or fencing room, and where fencing implements may be obtained. This 
feature, which has become an almost historical characteristic of the German 
University, is happily on the decline, being with a few exceptions less frequently 
indulged in than in former years, although students may still be seen who carry the 
scars caused by the deep gashes of the sabre, and which are often considered as 

Am. Jour. Pharm. \ 
Jan., 1877. I 



emblematical of high honor, from the resentment of some often imaginary injury 
or feeling of wounded pride. 

There being no class recitations as in many American Colleges and Universities> 
the Professors are much less restricted, and able to devote much more time to 
independent study ; the developments of which are soon communicated to the 
students. As might be expected from their position, the Professors are usually 
indefatigable workers and searchers after truth in the explorations of their favorite 
and special departments of science ; and it is indeed only upon this basis that they 
meet with official recognition by the Government or the University. That the 
German Universities, as a class, are extended in their scope and high in their standard 
and aim is a fact which has long since met with universal recognition, and is veri- 
fied by their attendance by students from almost every part of the civilized world 5 
in the words of Heinrich von Seybel (a leading Professor at Bonn), " they are 
workshops of science and not mere institutions where instruction is given." They 
offer to the student a wide field for independent thought and development, and as it 
lias been stated that they were in their prime in the time of Goethe, it certainly 
cannot be intimated that they have since declined, as the Prussian Government, fully 
realizing their importance, has extended to them every required support. That the 
German scientists have in the past and do still, through their labors, render inesti- 
mable service for the advancement of Pharmacy and allied sciences, is a fact so- 
patent as to admit of no refutation, and one need but to look over the scientific 
literature of the past, and the unreceding current of the present, as distributed 
through the various journalistic exponents, to be assured of and appreciate its vast 
importance ; and although it has been sometimes stated that the German scientific 
literature is imprabticable and abstruse, it should be remembered that the divulge- 
ment of theoretical speculations often illumine the way which may lead to practical 
results, and their subsequent useful application in Medicine, Manufactures and the- 
Arts, a most striking example of which may be observed in the history of the 
development of the coal tar colors and other artificial dyes, the results of muck 
patient study and research, performed chiefly for the purpose of elucidating some 
scientific theories, with little preconception of the important part they were destined 
to play in the world's industry. 

At the more important Universities there exists the Akademische Pharmaceuten- 
Verein, an organization of pharmaceutical and chemical students, for social inter- 
course and the discussion of scientific subjects, and which is inaugurated each year 
by a so-called Antritts-Kneipe, upon which occasion new members are accepted, the 
popular student songs are sung, short speeches made, and many other festivities 
peculiar to the time-honored customs of German students, and which indeed form 
an integral part of student life. 

It is, however, an unfortunate fact that the number of pharmaceutical students 
throughout Germany has so perceptibly decreased within the past few years, although 
the number of votaries to strictly chemical science gradually increases ; but this 
is hardly surprising in view of the fact of the prevailing tendencies in the direction 
of free trade, and the long preparatory course required by law, extending through 
a period of about 8 years, before a candidate can purchase an established Pharmacy 
or obtain a concession from the Government for the erection of a new one in such 



(Am. Jour. Pharm. 
X Jan., 1P.77. 

a locality as may be considered necessary. With the future of Pharmacy in Ger- 
many thus clouded, it is quite natural that its would-be devotees seek more lucrative 
and promising fields of labor. 

However, while students of Philosophy, Medicine and Political Science are year 
after year migrating to German shores, it would be highly gratifying to see some 
representatives among the American Pharmacists, and while not detracting from 
the support due to home educational institutions or the high position attained by 
some American Colleges of Pharmacy, through the faithful teaching and untiring 
industry of their Professors, the student is thus but the better prepared, and possesses 
but the needed qualifications for the further pursuit of such studies, and the more 
closely allied collateral sciences, thus giving a stimulus to a spirit of advancement 
and research which, it might be hoped, in connection with the Colleges of Pharmacy 
and various local organizations, would be productive of a still higher status ot 
American Pharmacy, when the empiricism shall be exposed and suppressed, and 
yield to the requirements of true science ; when the Pharmacist shall no longer be 
looked upon as a mere tradesman or the acceptance of the vocation simply as a 
means toward the attainment of selfish ends, but that it may meet with its proper 
recognition by the people, as standing on a level with the professions of Medicine* 
or of Law, and having a just claim on their protection, and although in its nature 
in a degree subservient to the demands of Medicine, so also is Medicine indebted 
to and dependent upon Pharmacy and Chemistry for many of the remedies daily 
employed The often assumed position of antagonism between members of the 
two professions as to the right of prerogative or claim of superiority from the stand - 
point of social position and influence on the part of either, cannot be otherwise 
than detrimental to the highest interests of both, and the too frequently manifested 
spirit of animosity should be supplanted by the dictates of truer reason. 

In conclusion, the writer would call the attention of those who may feel interested 
upon the subject of German Universities in their various relations to the work of 
Jas. Morgan Hart, entitled " German Universities," as also a series of highly inter- 
esting articles by the same author, in " Lippincotfs Magazine," vol. xvii, and would 
also further extend the assurance that American students who cross the seas in the 
pursuit of knowledge, will ever meet with a welcome reception at the hands of their 
^German co-workers. 

Strassburg, November, 1876. 

Castile Soap and its Counterfeits There are four descriptions of imported 

Castile soap known in the American market First, and at the head of the list in 
reputation is the Italian white Castile, known as the Conti soap. The jobbing price 
of this at present ranges from sixteen to sixteen and a half cents currency. It is 
claimed that oil only is used instead of fat in its manufacture, either olive oil that is 
left after the best is bottled, or sometimes cocoa-nut oil. The next brand in repu- 
tation, and said to be equal in quality and healing properties, is the "white horse," 
also a white soap, imported from Marseilles. This at present is selling at twelve to 
twelve and a half cents. These two brands, it is said, are never counterfeited here, 
and are stated to be free from all adulteration. Tests made by us have failed to 
show any adulteration or addition of substances to add to the weight, as is the case 
in mottled soaps. These white soaps come in boxes of thirty-five to thirty-seven 
pounds gross weight, and a tare of four pounds is allowed. Next come the Mar- 
seilles and the Leghorn mottled, the former claimed to be the better of the two. 
The importation of these soaps is rapidly falling off, owing to the competition of 
tthe domestic article, which as a rule is asserted to be the best and purest. In mak- 

Am. Jour. Pharm. ) 
Jan., 1877. / 



ing the Castile soap olive or cocoa-nut oil is supposed to be the material used, and 
this gives it its healing properties. Of late years, however, other and cheaper oils 
are said to have been substituted, such as linseed and cotton seed oil, but the fact of 
the latter being used can be detected, it is claimed by experts, from the darker 
color of the soap. Within the past five years, in order to meet the competition of 
buyers, it has become the custom to adulterate both Marseilles and Leghorn mot- 
tled soap with terra alba or chalk Some samples which we have seen tested show 
thirty-five per cent, of this substance added to increase the weight and cheapen the- 
article. There is, of course, some of the genuine article imported, but a buyer 
had better depend on the reputation of his wholesale dealers, and even then they 
may possibly be imposed upon. These soaps come in boxes of forty-five to forty- 
seven pounds, and a tare of eight pounds is allowed. The loss in weight on Cas- 
tile soap is very large, according to the length of time it is carried, the loss in four 
or five months being as much in some cases as twenty per cent. When sold it is 
re-weighed, and by some dealers the actual tare at the time of sale is allowed, and 
by some the original tare, but the price is advanced accordingly, the price having to 
be made so much higher to meet the loss in weight. This mottled soap is also- 
largely made here. Boxes are shipped here from Marseilles in the form of shooks 
and put together here. These boxes, when put in the market, often bear all the 
marks of imported soap. The soft and wet appearance of the soap is no guide as 
to whether it is foreign or domestic, as the former often reaches here in that state, 
and soap containing a large proportion of water to increase the weight, but it should 
be made in bars, and not look as if cut with a wire. — Jour. App. Sci., [Lond.], 
Dec. 1, 1876, from American Grocer. 

The Manufacture of Milk Sugar in Switzerland.— By A. Sauter — In a com- 
jfnunication to the " Schweizerische Wochenschrift fur Pharmacie," for the 20th of 
(October, the author gives an account of a visit to Marbach, in the canton of Lu- 
jzerne, Switzerland, where half a dozen refiners are said to make a handsome income 
/from the manufacture of milk sugar,) 

/ The raw material used for the recrystallization comes from the neighboring Alps, 
in the cantons of Luzerne, Bern, Schwyz, etc. 5 a considerable quantity is supplied 
also by Gruyeres. It is the so-called " Schottensand/'' or " Zuckersand," the 
French " Dechet de lait," obtained by simple evaporation of the whey after cheese- 
making. Notwithstanding a continual rise in the price, consequent upon the de- 
mand and the increased cost of labor and fuel, the manufacture continually expands., 
and now amounts to 1,800 to 2,000 cwts. yearly, corresponding to a gross value of 

x about 300,000 francs — certainly a handsome sum for a small mountain village, with 
\but few inhabitants. 

The manufacture is only carried on in the higher mountains, because there the 
material can no longer be used profitably for the fattening of swine, which are found 
chiefly in the valleys, and the wood required for the evaporating process is cheaper 

\in the highlands. 

si The crude material is sent to the manufacturer or refiner in sacks containing one 
'' "to two hundredweights It is washed in copper vessels, and dissolved to saturation 
at the boiling temperature over a fire, and the yellow brown liquor, after straining, 
is allowed to stand in copper-lined tubs or long troughs to crystallize. The sugar 
crystals form in clusters on immersed chips of wood, and these are the most pure, 
and therefore of rather greater commercial value than the milk sugar in plates^ 
which is deposited on the sides of the vessels. 

In ten to fourteen days the process of crystallization has ended, and the milk 
sugar has finished growing (ausgeavac/isen). The crystals are then washed with cold 
water, afterwards dried in a cauldron over a fire, and packed in casks holding four 
to five hundredweights. 

As the " Schottensand " can only be obtained in the summer, the recrystalliza- 
tion is not carried on in the winter, hence a popular saying that the milk sugar does- 
not "grow" in the winter. The entire manipulation is carried on in a very primi- 


Minutes of the College. 

Am. Jour. Pharm. 
Jan., 1877. 

tive manner, it being a matter of astonishment to find a specific gravity instrument 
in any place. The author is of opinion that with a more rational method of work- 
ing, a whiter and finer quality sugar could be ^voductd.4-Pharm. Journ. and Trans., 
Nov. nth, 1876. 

Ipecacuanha and Vanilla Cultivation in India The following notes on the 

cultivation of vanilla and ipecacuanha in India we gather from Dr. King's recently 
received report on the Calcutta Botanic Gardens. With reference to the former, 
Dr. King says : " Some very sanguine forecasts having been made of the future of 
vanilla cultivation in Bengal, a number of plants were, two years ago, put out in the 
Calcutta Garden under sheds similar to those in which the pepper vine is grown. 
The growth of these plants has not been satisfactory, probably from over-shading 5 
many have, therefore, been recently put under the shade of mango-trees. The finest 
old vanilla plants in the Garden grow against a north wall. One of these was this 
year laden with pods, but an unusually high temperature for a day or two caused 
them to drop prematurely. Recent, as well as former experience, leads me to 
think that vanilla will never become a staple product in Bengal. " With regard to 
ipecacuanha, quantities of plants, it seems, " have been sent to Ceylon, to the Neil- 
gherries (for trial at Barliar, a garden in a hot, low valley below Coonoor) and to 
Burmah. It is to be hoped that a locality may soon be found where this invaluable 
specific, for one of the worst of tropical diseases, can be profitably grown as a crop. 
I fear it cannot be thus grown so far north as Bengal. The secret of successful 
propagation being now perfectly understood, any number of plants can be sent out. 
During the year I supplied a quantity of the drug itself (the dried root) to the 
Surgeon-General for trial in hospital practice. This was carefully administered in 
cases of dysentery by Dr. Crombie, late officiating physician to the Medical College 
Hospital, and was pronounced by him to be quite as efficient as the best South 
American drug. — Pharm. Journ. and Trans. , Nov. 25th, 1876. 

Almen's Test for Blood — T. Schiellerup (Copenhagen) calls attention to the 
so-called Almen's test, and warns against its use as being too delicate — one 
twenty-thousandth part of a milligram of iron (as chloride) being sufficient to pro- 
duce the reaction. The test is as follows: A few cubic centimetres of tincture of 
guaiacum and an equal quantity of oil of turpentine are put into a test-tube and a 
little of the suspected liquid (urine, etc.) added, when, in the presence of blood, an 
intense blue color is immediately produced ; dried stains are extracted with diluted 
acetic acid (Proceedings Amer. Phar. Asso., 1875, P- 4^5) If one considers that 
iron is almost universally found, and that the reaction, as before mentioned, is so 
extremely delicate, it becomes evident that this test is a dangerous one in legal cases. 

Mr. S. remarks incidentally that this test •originated some fifteen years ago with 
Prof. Van Deen, Holland. — H. M. W. from Ny Pharm. Tidskrift, 1876, p. 353. 


Philadelphia, Twelfth mo. 25th, 1876. 

Pursuant to the usual notice, the following members of the Philadelphia College 
of Pharmacy assembled at the College hall, No. 145 N. Tenth street, viz. : 

Dillwyn Parrish, President,- William C. Bakes and William J. Jenks. 

There being no quorum in attendance, it was agreed to adjourn to meet to mor- 
row, the 26th inst., at 3.30 P.M. 

William J. Jenks, Secretary. 

Am 'j™*7? m '} Minutes of the Pharmaceutical Meeting. 39 

Philadelphia, Twelfth mo. 26th, 1876. 

An adjourned meeting of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy was held this 
day at the College hall, No. 145 N. Tenth street. Dillwyn Parrish, President, in 
the chair, and twelve members in attendance. 

The minutes of the last meeting were read and adopted Those of the Board of 
Trustees were also read, and on motion adopted. 

The Secretary reported that the resolution of thanks, directed by the College last 
month to be sent to Messrs. F. C. Calvert & Co., of Manchester, England, had been 
engrossed and forwarded to them as requested. 

Mr. Bullock, Treasurer of the Committee on Centennial Purchases, reported 
through Mr. Wiegand that he would have remaining a small sum of money, and 
requested the College to direct the amount to be returned to the Treasurer of the 
College, which request was acquiesced in and the motion agreed to. 

Mr. Mclntyre, Registrar of the Pharmaceutical Meetings, stated that he had 
sent out notices and invitations to others interested in pharmaceutical science beside 
the members of the College, to attend such meetings, and desired to know if his 
course was approved. 

It being the general opinion that it was desirable to have a full attendance of all 
who might take an interest in pharmacy it was, on motion, 

Resolved, That we recognize the invitations sent out by the Registrar as being 
strictly within the intention of the College in instituting the Pharmaceutical 

Mr. Boring stated that the meetings of the Alumni Association had been 
.generally held in the College, and desired to know if the continuance of this 
practice was acceptable to members, which, meeting with an affirmative response, it 
was, on motion, 

Resolved, That the Alumni Association of the College be invited to hold such 
meetings as they may desire in the College building. 

Professor Remington presented an original portrait in oil of the late William 
Redwood Fisher, Professor of Chemistry in this College in 1841-42. This portrait 
was given to the College by Mrs. William J. Geen of this city, through the inter- 
position of Professor Joseph Carson, who was Professor of Materia Medica in the 
College at the same time. 

The portrait is a valuable one, and completes the line of pictures of the Professors 
from the foundation of the College to the present time. 

On motion of Mr. Bakes, the Hall Committee were directed to have the portrait 
framed in accordance with the others, and hung in its place in the Hall of the 

On motion of Professor Remington the thanks of the College were directed to 
be presented to Mrs. Geen for the acceptable gift, and also to Professor Joseph 
Carson for the interest he has taken in the College in connection therewith. 

There being no further business, on motion, adjourned. 

William J. Jenks, Secretary. 


The third meeting of the session was held December 19th, 1876, Dillwyn Parrish 
in the chair. The minutes of the previous meeting were read and approved. 
Donations to the library: " The Chemists 1 and Druggists' Diary," 1877, London, 
from the publishers ; the "Greek Pharmacopoeia, " from Prof. X, Landerer, of Athens; 
to the Cabinet: Mate or Paraguay tea, in original packages, from Alonzo Robbins. 

R. V. IVlattison read a paper on Diluted Phosphoric Acid (see page 8), claiming 
for his process rapidity and safety in execution, no special apparatus being required, 
and it being not expensive in a small way. 

40 Pharmaceutical Colleges and Associations. { Am ja!!!% P 7 h 7 arm *" 

Dr. Pile thought the process, with bromine in solution, all that could be desired 
in simplicity, requiring no watching, but merely some time ; the troublesome part 
with both processes is the evaporation of the nitric acid. For this a low temperature 
will not suffice, a heat of 340 to 35o°F. being required, and afterwards care not 
to dilute until cold. A much higher temperature will dissolve the enamel of the 
Berlin capsules, which will be partly precipitated upon the addition of water. 
Prof. Maisch remarked that the determination of neutralization by means of litmus 
was very unsatisfactory, since the litmus solution changed its color very gradually. 

Prof. Maisch read a paper by L. Wolff, of Philadelphia, on the use of Petroleum 
Benzin in Pharmacy (see page 1). He regarded this as a very interesting subject, 
and one which was by no means exhausted. Some time since (" Am. Jour. Ph.,"' 
1872, p. 134), he had presented to this meeting styracin made of the use of petroleum 
benzin, and other observers had born testimony to its manifold uses. Wm. L. 
Harrison ("Am. Jour. Phar.," 1874, p. 161), found in it an easy and cheap 
way of obtaining cinnamic acid, besides styracin, and Wallace Procter had 
separated with it a white crystalline substance from Magnolia tripetela [Ibid., 1872,. 
p. 146). It is an excellent solvent for monobromated camphor and other crystalline 
bodies, and affords a ready means of obtaining them in good crystallizations. 

Prof. Remington said that an odor of kerosene might remain in such preparations 
from the employment of a petroleum benzin which had not been carefully rectified. 

Dr. Pile, in preparing some oleoresins, had used the kind known as gasolin, and 
did not find any odor remaining. 

Prof. Maisch exhibited quinine flower, so-called ("Am. Jour. Ph.," 1876, p. 454) 5, 
from experiments made by Mr. Th. F. Beckert, it is possible that it may contain 
an alkaloid j if so, it would be the first found in the Gentianaceae. Mr. Beckert 
observed that the tincture evaporated, thrown into water slightly acidulated and 
filtered, would yield a slight precipitate with Mayer's solution. 

Dr. J. Dabney Palmer, of Monticello, Fla., had sent the quinine flower and its 
tincture 5 also tincture and fluid extract of Buttonwood (Cephalanthus occidentalis) 
and tincture of Sarracenia flava or Trumpet plant, which appear to be employed 
medicinally in that section of the country. 

Prof. Remington had upon the table for inspection from the Centennial Exhibition 
an interesting collection 5 from A. Beslier, Paris, Pharmaceutical preparations 
and a large mounted specimen of Thapsia Garganica ; from Joseph Bosisto, Victoria,, 
Eucalyptus products and Australian pharmaceutical preparations ; from Mr. Brugsch, 
Egyptian Commissioner, Egyptian Drugs, Pharmaceutical preparations, etc. 5 
purchased by the College from Behn Meyer & Co., of Singapore, a large collection 
of raw products of that region. A detailed account of these acquisitions will, 
appear in the Curator's report, to be read at the annual meeting of the College. 

William McIntyre, Registrar, 


The Richmond Pharmaceutical Association held its annual meeting on the even- 
ing of December 12th, Dr. John R. Garnett in the chair, Mr. Jos. N. Willis, 
Secretary. Mr. Hugh Blair reported on the operations of the Society during the 
past year, and made some valuable suggestions relating to its future welfare and 
usefulness. Reports were also received from the Recording Secretary, Mr. Jos.. 
Anthony, and the treasurer, Mr. B. C. Lewis. 

The election of officers for the ensuing year resulted as follows : President,. 
Hugh Blair j First Vice-President, Joseph N. Willis; Second Vice-President, P E. 
Dupuy 5 Recording Secretary, Joseph Anthony j Corresponding Secretary, T. 
Roberts Baker. Executive Committee : Wm. P. Poythress, Polk Miller, Jesse Child. 

Am. Jour. Pharm.) 
Jan., 1877. j 



The Camden County Pharmaceutical Association held its third annual meeting 
Nov. 24th, President Jas. A. Armstrong in the chair. 

Reports from the Secretary and Treasurer showed the Society to be in a nattering 

The President's annual address contained a short history of all the pharmaceu- 
tical stores in Camden, which was very interesting. 

The following officers were elected for the ensuing year: President, D. P. Pan- 
coast, M. D. Vice-President, M. Goldsmith. Secretary, Emmor H. Lee, Ph. G. 
Treasurer, L. M. Pratt, M. D. Librarian, O. G. Taylor. Library Committee — S. 
W. Cochran, F. G. Thoman, Herman W. Miller. 

Alumni Association of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. — At the monthly 
meeting held December 7th, 1876, President Kennedy in the chair, 33 members and 
students were present. Messrs. Boring, Miller and Procter each presented 10 
specimens of officinal drugs and preparations for the consideration of the students, 
who manifested a lively interest in their examination. 

Dr. Miller remarked on the adulteration of wax, as practised in commerce, men- 
tioning one lot in which it reached 75 per cent. He submitted mixtures of wax, 
paraffin, Japan wax and stearin, seven in number, in which two or more of these were 
combined. That of paraffin and wax seemed to be the most dangerous imitation. 

President Kennedy read a paper on Aquae Medicatae of the " Pharmacopoeia" 
(see page 7). 

Mr. N. A. Kuhn, of the Class of 76-77, read a paper on oil of Ceylon cinna- 
mon leaves (see page 12), in reply to a query accepted by him at the last meeting. 

A communication from Prof. Remington in reference to Alpha Phi Society of 
the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy was read. He stated that the society was 
formed by the first course students to assist them in preparing for a junior examina- 
tion, which was recommended by the convention of teaching colleges. The 
members of the society were invited to attend the future monthly meetings of the 

Mr. Boring stated that he had great difficulty in procuring colchicum root of a 
quality answering the prescribed conditions. Careful garbling giving 'but 3^ ounces 
of white root from a pound of a handsome looking specimen. 

President Kennedy alluded to the change to a light orange color of a carefully 
kept specimen of Lautier Fils 1 orange flower water, no other deterioration being 

Dr. Miller spoke of the fine quality of the " Matieres Premieres " shown by this 
firm at the Exhibition. In referring to the adulteration of food, poisonous coloring 
matters were mentioned which were constantly sold to confectioners, such as chrome 
yellow and even Paris green. He suggested, as the best means of avoiding the use 
of these, that good practical formulas should be made known through the journals, 
so that apothecaries generally could prepare them on demand. As a thesis subject 
it gives a wide field of research, and even a single good color obtained would be an 
important advantage to the health of the community. 

After some reference to irregular prescriptions, and to other subjects of minor 
importance, the association adjourned until January 4th. 

Wallace Procter, Secretary. 


The Journal. — The present number appears with a few typographical changes, 
among which the type selected for the various headings will be found to be more 
serviceable and useful than that hitherto employed. 

- 4 2 


Am. Jour. Pharm. 
Jan., 1877. 

The new volume opens with a gratifying number of original articles, and among 
the contributors we are pleased to welcome not only several whose names are not 
unfamiliar to our readers, but also others who offer their observations for the first 
time directly to our readers. In examining the various original papers, it will be 
observed that the majority have a direct practical bearing upon manipulations and 
processes in almost daily use in the store and laboratory, and are suggestive of fur- 
ther extended applications. Scientific subjects, of interest to pharmacists, are dis- 
cussed in two papers, and in another a hygienic question of general importance re- 
ceives proper attention. Of similar interest and import, direct or suggestive, will be 
found the various essays which have been selected from our cotemporaries, and ap- 
pear in the present number, either unabridged or in a condensed form. 

In thanking the numerous contributors to the present and the past issues of the 
Journal, we would, at the same time, request all our readers to take notes of their 
observations with the various officinal and unofHcinal processes, of improvements in 
apparatus and manipulations, of unexpected reactions, in short, of every occurrence 
.that may possess or appear to possess some interest, and communicate the same to 
the editor, with the view of laying them before our readers. 

In this connection, we desire also to call the attention of our friends to the adver- 
tisement of the Publishing Committee in relation to back volumes of the Journal. 
It will be observed that a considerable reduction has been made for many of the 
volumes and single numbers, and many will doubtless find it to their advantage to 
complete, to some extent, their sets at the low price at which they are offered. By 
the use of the excellent Index, prepared by Mr. H. M. Wilder, for the first forty- 
two volumes, all the material contained therein becomes readily available. It is 
stated by the committee that many of the volumes and numbers thus offered are in 
stock to a limited extent only, so that the offers now made are likely to be with- 
drawn as the stock is diminished. 

Hydrobromic Acid. — In some papers by Dr. J. Milner Fothergill, originally pub- 
lished in the " British Medical Journal," and recently reproduced by several med- 
ical journals in this country, attention is drawn to the medicinal properties of 
hydrobromic acid and to a formula for its preparation, which originated with Dr. 
Dewitt C. Wade, and appeared in the "Peninsular Medical Journal " for February, 
1875. The formula directs to dissolve £x %v\ gr.xxviii of bromide of potassium in 
four pints of water, and add 5xiii 3i gr.xxxvii of tartaric acid j bitaitrate of potas- 
sium is produced, the greater part of which crystallizes out, and a solution of hydro- 
bromic acid in water, containing also some potassium bitartrate, is left. 

Although various processes for the preparation of hydrobromic acid directly from 
bromine have been published in former volumes of this journal and in other publica- 
tions, the necessity of adopting various precautions to avoid accidents in consequence 
of possible violent reactions seems to speak in favor of a simpler process, which 
can readily be followed even by the unexperienced, and though the acid thus 
obtained may not be chemically pure ; and such is the- one recommended by Dr. 

By calculation from the molecular weights, it will be found that the potassium 
bromide is slightly in excess, which is perhaps rather an advantage. But a consid- 
erable difference in the strength of the hydrobromic acid will be found, as the 
weights and measures of the British or United States "Pharmacopoeia" are used. 
With the former, the hydrobromic acid obtainable from 4731 grains potassium 
bromide will be contained in 80 fluidounces imperial measure (Oiv Imp. Meas. = 
76A f^ U. S.), which gives 40} gr. HBr to the fluidounce. Operating with the 
weights and measures as employed in this country 3531 grs. HBr, obtainable from 
51S8 grs. KBr, will be contained in 64 fluidounces, or 5 5 ^ grs. per fgi. In these 
calculations the increase in bulk from dissolved compounds has been disregarded. 

Am. Jour Pharm ) 
Jan., 1877. i 

Editorial — Reviews, etc. 


The last figure gives probably the strength which is intended ; but by a slight 
modification of the weights a much more convenient formula will be obtained, 
since the weights can be accurately reduced to a single fluidounce. We propose 
therefore to take 

fji water," 80 grains . . potassium bromide, 100 grains . . tartaric acid, 
Oi " 2 troyoz. 320 grs. " " 3 troyoz. 160 grs. " " 

Oiv " 10 " 320 grs. " " 13 " 160 " " « 

The bromide should be dissolved in three-fourths of the water and the tartaric 
acid in the other fourth 5 after mixing the solutions well, it will be found advanta- 
geous to expose the mixture for some time to a temperature of about 32 F , and 
allow the greater portion of the cream of tartar to crystallize out. With the above 
proportions there will still be a slight excess of potassium bromide, and the prepara- 
tion will be equal in strength to that obtained by Dr. Wade's formula. It is scarcely 
necessary to remark that the cream of tartar thus obtained, after having been 
washed with cold water, is very pure and may be utilized. 

Our readers are aware that in the preparation of monobromated camphor (see 
" Amer. Jour. Phar ," 1 872, p. 337) one-half the bromine used is converted into 
hydrobromic acid and may be obtained without trouble by passing the gas into 


The Popular Health Almanac for 1877. Edited by Frederick Hoffmann. New York : 
E. Steiger. 

A year ago we had the pleasure of noticing the first issue of this publication 5 it 
entered upon its mission with the praiseworthy object, to furnish useful information 
on matters of health, and we believe that it has fulfilled its mission creditably. That 
it has met with favor, wherever it became known, is evidenced by the issue now 
before us, which in every respect fulfills the expectation formed on perusing the 
former, and we hope that it may find its way into the home of every family, for 
each will find in it information useful for every member. 

The health articles are on the subjects of hygiene, water supplies, cleanliness and 
bathing, furnace-heating, care of the teeth, first help in accidents and emergencies, 
first treatment and antidotes for poisons, nostrums and their composition, and statis- 
tics of mortality. Besides these, various other articles and notes aim to impart use- 
ful knowledge, among them tables comparing the metric with the common weights 
and measures. An appendix contains an acceptable Kindergarten tract, and some 
instructive information on the use of salicylic acid in the household 5 the latter found 
its way here evidently as an advertisement, and we cannot therefore hold the editor 
responsible for information belonging in a medical treatise rather than in a popular 
health guide, like the directions for the use of salicylic acid in diphtheria, acute 
rheumatism, epidemic fevers, etc. 

The almanac deserves the hearty support of physicians and pharmacists, both 
being particularly interested in its widest distribution. 

Pharmacological Dictionary, a Lexicon of Pharmaceutical Terminology ; containing 
all the Terms of the " Pharmacopoeias " of the United States and Germany, in 
English, German and Latin, with all Popular Dialectic or Provincial German 
Names of Drugs, Herbs, Medicines, Preparations, Concoctions, Decoctions, In- 
fusions, and their English Synonyms, Alphabetically arranged. For the use of 
Druggists, Physicians, Chemists, Students, and the German-American Public. 


Reviews, etc. 

J Am Jour. Pharm, 
\ Jan., 1877. 

By Dr. Robt. Karl Beer. Baltimore, 1876: Beer & Sadler. i6mo, pp. 80. 
Bound 5 price, $1.50. 

The lengthy title of this little volume explains the aims the author had in view 
in preparing it. In the first place, it was intended — so the preface informs us — to- 
be used by physicians who, with the author, are reading German medical works in 
the original 5 it was natural to endeavor to make it useful and acceptable also to a 
larger circle. 

The first and smaller portion is the English-German part, containing the English 
and Latin names of the U. S " Pharmacopoeia,' 1 '' with their German synonyms. In 
this, unnecessary repetitions have been very judiciously avoided 5 thus infusions, 
tinctures, etc., are given only by their English names, without repeating them again 
under Infusum, Tinctura, etc. 

The second, or German-English part comprises nearly two-thirds of the whole,, 
and does not contain the Latin terms as officinal in Germany, except occasionally 
as the equivalent of the German word, in which connection it should have been 
replaced either by the English synonym or by the Latin term as employed in our 
" Pharmacopoeia. " On the whole, however, these will not occasion much inconve- 
nience ; but for some of the Latin terms employed in this part we should have pre- 
ferred the proper English term, if known here, or the full botanical name ; thus, 
instead of radix hydrolapathi, root of Rumex aquaticus would have been clearer to 
the great majority of American pharmacists. 

We believe the little work to be useful to all those classes enumerated in the title 
in their intercourse with the German-speaking population, and in reading pharma- 
ceutical works in the German language, and as such recommend it to our readers. 

The Chemists* and Druggists'' Diary, 1877. Published at the office of the " Chemist 
and Druggist," London. 

This annual publication contains a large number of formulas and recipes, old and 
new, collected from various sources and embracing pharmacy, medicine, perfumery,, 
specialties, etc., also a great deal of information which is of special interest to the 
British pharmacist. 

Medicinal Plants, being descriptions with original figures of the principal plants 
employed in medicine, and an account of their properties and uses. By Robert 
Bently, F.L.S. and Henry Trimen, M.B., F.L.S, etc. Philadelphia: Lindsay 
& Blakiston. Parts 9-12. Price, $2.00 each. 

The descriptions and plants contained in the four numbers before us comprise the 
following species : Cissampelos pareira, Podophyllum peltatum, Cistus creticus > 
Geranium maculatum, Polygonum bistorta, Myristica fragrans, Curcuma longa, 
Vanilla planifolia, Viola odorata, Cinnamodendron corticosum, Krameria triandra 
and ixina, Toluifera Pereirae, Tamarindus indica, Valeriana officinalis, Hyoscya- 
mus niger, Jateorhiza calumba, Aegle marmelos, Picraena excelsa, Rhamnus fran- 
gula, Rubus villosus, Artemisia absinthium, Taxus baccata, Cochlearia armoracia,. 
Trigonella foenum-graecum, Rosa gallica, Fraxinus'ornus, Thymus vulgaris, Daphne 
mezereum and Pinus sylvestris. 

As heretofore, the plates are excellently executed in design and coloring, and the 
descriptive text is clear and reliable. Regarding the illustration of the Peru balsam 
tree, it may not be amiss to state that the figure of the fruit is a true representation 
of what was handed to us nearly fifteen years ago as the fruit of the tree from which 
Peru balsam is produced, and which may have come from Dr. Dorat, from whose 
specimens the figures were drawn 5 but we were unable to trace our specimens 
beyond the United States. At the late International Exposition the Mexican 
Society of Natural Sciences exhibited an extensive collection of drugs, among which 
were specimens of a fruit labeled Myrospermum Pereira, which, though agreeing in 

Am j{n^8 P 77 arm '} Obituary— Catalogue of the Class. 45 

general characters with that of the Toluifera figured, was markedly distinct from 
it by being much shorter and nearly orbicular-oblong. The Mexican Catalogue 
stated that the tree grows in warm and damp places in the State of Morelos and 
other parts of Mexico, and that its fruit and bark are employed as balsamic stimu- 
lants and in the preparation of a dye. Though Peru balsam was also exhibited, we 
could not ascertain whether it had been really produced from the species or variety 
yielding the fruit described. 


Cristian Edward Eyster died in Duluth, Minn., Nov. 13th, aged 29 years. 
He entered the drug business in 1865 in his native town, Chambersburg, Pa., and 
graduated at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, 1869. In 1870, he embarked 
in business in Duluth, where he continued until the date of his death. His social 
qualities, upright and enterprising business career and uniform Christian life render 
his untimely death a sad affliction to his family and a loss to the business he so 
creditably represented. 



Class of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, 


With a List of their Preceptors and Localities. 

Albrecht, Antonius Carl, 
Albright, Franklin Pierce, 
Allen, Jno. Hays, Jr., 
Allen, Jno. Reese, 
Ancker, Louis, 
Angier, James Watson, 
Appenzeller, Gustav Adolph, 
Ashe, Cincie Braxton, 
Bache, Benjamin Franklin, 
Ball, William Amos, 
Barnard, Geo. Luther, 
Barr, Samuel Earnest, 
Barnitz, Jno. Stevenson, 
Barton, Charles Edwin, 
Baume, Franklin Derr, 
Beale, Charles, 
Beckert, Theodore Frederick, 
Beetem, Jacob Samuel, 
Beitermann, William Wallace 
Bellows, Charles Edward, 
Bennett, M. Knight, 
Betz, Herman, 
Biddle, Richard, 
Bissell, Emery Gilbert, 
Bobb, Wallace Geary, 
Bossett, William Cowper, 
Bowman, Charles Alexander, 
Boyer, Edward Dayton, 
Brennecke, Robert Henry, 
Brown, David Howell, 
Brown, George Walbridge, 
Brown, Thomas Trew, 

Joivn or County. 
Mt. Vernon, 

S. C. 














N. J. 




N. Y. 






N. Y. 

N. Y. 



Van Buskirk & Apple. 

B. N. Bethel. 
James Kemble. 
G. W. Notson. 
J. B. Shaw. 

T. C. Weatherly. 
Cawthorn & Coleman. 
Bullock & Crenshaw. 
J. L. Patterson & Bro. 

C. H. Seary. 

E. P. Camp. 

G. E Musselman. 
W. W. Moorhead. 
P. M. Ziegler. 
Edward Beale, M.D. 
J. F. Caldwell. 
S. S. Bunting. 
G. W Dougherty. 
W. Notson, M D. 

F. S. Hilliard. 

C. P. Squire & Co. 

M. J. Bissell. 

V. H. Smith A Co. 

G. B. Loomis. 
Wharton & Co. 
W. K. Mattern. 

E. B. Garrigues & Co. 
Lancaster Bros. 
A. L. Helmbold. 
Jno. Wycth A Bro. 


Catalogue of the Class. 

{Am. Jour. Pharnr. 
Jan., 1877. 

Brunner, Norman Isaac, 
Buchanan, Andrew, 
Burns, Seymour S., 
Burroughs, Silas Mainville, 
Busch, Wm, Charles Asmus, 
Byerly, Charles Henry, 
Chabot, Wash. Jackson, 
Childs, Walter Foss. 
Christman, Harry Warren, 
Cloud, Harlan, 
Conway, William Henry, 
Correll, Cornelius, 
Corrie, William, 
Cox, Harry, 
Cox, Harry Oscar, 
Coxey, Joseph Clarence, 
Craig, Thomas Canby, 
Craighead, Thomas, 
Crane, Henry Bedell, 
Crowl, Frank Mercer, 
Curran, John Augustus, 
Custis, Daniel Parke, 
Davidson, Abraham, 
Davis, Isaac, 

Davis, Marshall Moses And. 
Davis, Nehemiah, 
Davis, Theodore Garrison, 
Davy, George William, 
Day, Wallace Melancthon, 
Day, William George, 
Dean, Norman R., 
Dembinski, Louis, 
Deprez, William Henry, 
DePuy, Caspar Edward, 
Dickeson, William Eunice, 
Douglass, Samuel Milton, 
Drancourt, Samuel, 
Driscoll, Edward William, 
Driver, Joseph Bingham, 
Drueding, Charles Caspar, 
Drueding, Francis Fred. 
Drueding, Henry Gerhard, 
Elfreth, Jacob R., 
Evans, Albert, 
Evans, J. Henry, 
Evans, Henry William, 
Ewing, George Washington, 
Falck, John Aiken, 
Fawkes, David Wilmot, 
Federer, Ernest Charles, 
Feil, Joseph, 
Fell, Theron Edwin, 
Fisher, Henry, 
Fosselman, Charles, 
Fri'ih, Gustav Adolph, 
Fulton, Joseph Miller, 
Funk, Christian Lawson, 
Galling, Fred. Joseph, 
Garcia. Amador de Jesus, 
Gardner, Charles Herman, 
Garman, Samuel Franklin, 
Gates, Burt Pike, 
Gerling, John Miller, 
Gingrich, John Adam, 
Grahame, George Harris, 
Gray, George Washington, 
Graybill, Peter, 
Greig, George Horace, 
Griffin, Louis Franklin, 
Griffith, Albert Richard, 
Goess, George Conrad, Jr., 
Groves, Freytag, 
Hall, Harry Augustus, 
Hano, Simon Louis, 
Harris, William, 
Harrison, John Windham, 
Hendricks, Elwood Gouldy, 
Hewitt, Andrew Crawford, 

Town or County. 






Lock Haven, 



Nori istown, 

























Iowa Falls, 






















New London, 


Beaver Dam, 


Spruce Creek, 








Allegheny City, 


Oil City, 







Centre Point, 






N. Y. 























N. J. 









Pa. ■ 








N. J. 


















N. Y. 














W. V. 



S. D. Everett. 
M. H. Bickley. 
Bowen & Burns. 

E. P. Healy, M.D. 
Henry Ditzen 

Mort. H Eayere, Ph.G. 
J. A. M iliac. 

F. B. Poley. M.D* 
W. Stahler. 

W. B. Ulrich. 
Jos. P. Remington. 
L. S. Correll. 
Peter Cruice. 
W. E. Lee. 
D W. Blake, M.D.. 
H. W. Miller. 
C. H. Cressler. 
George S. Craighead.- 
H. H. Ross. 
George Cooke. 
W. H. Pile. 

H. L. v. Wittkamp, M.D; 

G. H. Davis. 

F. E. Himmelwright. 
John R. Haney, M.D. 
C. F. Dare, 
Bullock & Crenshaw. 
Frank S. Dickinson.. 
W. F. Fleming. 
Israel I. Grahame. 
A. Oppermann. 
John Weingarih. 
Foster & Hoag. 
J. W. Dickeson, M.D.. 
C. T. Frazer. 
Wyeth & Bro. 
J. D. Marshall & Bro. 
James Hillis. 
Charles Bauer. 
George W. Eldridge. 
Luther Gerhard. 
W. H. Pile & Sons. 
L. W. Adams. 
W. D. Harrison. 
Samuel & Warner.. 
J. L. Bispham. 
Robert C. Sharp. 
E. Bringhurst & Co.. 

C. Shivers. 

P. Fitch, M.D. 
A. L Fox, M.D. 
Bullock & Crenshaw.. 
John W. Read. 
Carl D. S. Friih. 
James Fulton, M.D. 

H. C. Blair's Sons. 

J. Kenworthey, Ph.G. 
Julius Frenard. 
Jos. P. Remington. 
Jonas Garman. 
Henry D. Jones. 
Vaupel & Moore. 
A. W. Bley. 
Isrrel J. Grahame. 
Isaac Tull. 

D. G. A. Bachman. 

John R. Angney. 

P. H. Horn. 
M. F. Groves, M.D- 
W. F. Baum. 
H. B. Lippincott, 
Robert Howath. 
Logan, List & Co.. 
W. K Mattern. 
C. L. Eberle. 

Am. Jour. Pharm. 
Jan., 1877. 

Catalogue of the Class, 

Higgate, Wilford Oldham, 
Hilton, George Perry, 
Hoguet, William, 
Holden, Chas. Vernon. 
Horner, James Walker, 
Hubbard, Ph. Wadsworth, 
Hudgin, Edward Lee, 
Hudson, Leonard Adkins, 
Hughes, Thomas, 
Hurley, David George, 
Jarvis, Franklin Pierce, 
Jenkins, Llewellyn Price, 
Tones, Isaac Penrose, 
Kelley, Robert, 
Kern, James Picor, 
Kernan, Joseph Halbert, 
Kernan, Thos. Ed. Barron, 
Kilbride, John Jackson, 
Killingbeck, Wm. John, 
Kinports, John Henry, 
Kinports, Philip Stein, 
Klopp, Eli Leinbach, 
Koehler, Walter Wm., 
Kramer, Howard Samuel, 
Kroeg, Andrew Alex., 
Krout, Albert, 
Kuhn, Norman Archibald, 
Laciar, Henry Jacob, 
Lamhofer, Edward, 
Landschutz, Peter, 
Lardner, Wm. Sheppard, 
Latham, Daniei Henry, Jr., 
Lehman, John Wesley, 
Lerchen, Herman, 
Levering, George Washington, 
Levering, Howard Malcom, 
Lewis, Wm. Thompson, 
Lilly, Charles Foster, 
Lindewald, Wilhelm Edward, 
Llewellyn, John, 
Llewellyn, Wm. Henry, 
Lloyd, Evan Davis, 
Lock, John Herman, 
Longaker, Daniel, 
Loper, Lorenzo Dow, 
Lustig, Emil, 
Lyneman, Felix Anthony, 
McKeehan, George Henry, 
McMullin, Albert, 
McMullin, Andrew, 
Mann, George Wagner, 
Marley, Richard Cordeleon, 
Martin, George, Jr., 
Martin, John Albert, 
Maulick, W. Frederick, 
Merrick, Edwin Augustus, 
Miller, David Patrick, 
Montgomery, J. Rushig, 
Moore, Frank, 
Moore, Richard Jesse, 
Morrison, Charlie, 
Moser, John Hendricks, 
Mossberg, John Fred. 
Murray, Bayard. 
Musser, Omar Henry, 
Myers, Clayton Ricker, 
Myers, Edwin, 
Newbury, Grantham, 
Newcome, Ed. Jacob, 
Noss, Henry, 
Oleson, Olaf Martin, 
Orsell, Jacob Francis, 
Ott, Emile, 
Owens, Samuel, 
Packer, George Harmon, 
Paris, Edgar Price, 
Parker, Frederick Henry, 
Peat, Edward, 

Town or County. 


















White Deer Mills, 











Grand Island, 




Barren Hill, 

























Little Creek Landing 








Mount Joy, 




Norwich, - 

Fort Dodge, 














£ y - 










N. J. 






S. C. 




















N. J. 
































N. Y. 


Wm. B. Webb. 
R. A. Boyd. 
Louis Hoguet. 
Ira Lackey. 
Henry Blithe. 

Isaac V. Smith. 
E. E. Hazlett. 
J. P. Herndon. 
J. L. Lemberger. 
Cawthorn & Coleman. 
W. E. Lloyd. 
L. A. Dix, M.D. 
Mellor & Rittenhouse, 
A. H. Yarnall & Co. 
T. J. Husband. 
McKelway & Borell. 
George J. Kilbride. 
Wm. Trinder. 
John E. Grove. 
Clement B. Lowe. 
Samuel Gerhard. 
Chas. E. Davis. 
T. A. Walker, Ph.G. 
A. M. Wilson. 
T. Y. Hoskinson. 
R. P. Trimble. 
Lancaster Thomas. 

D. Ackerman, Jr. 
Jos. Landschutz. 
Hansel 1 & Bro. 

J. T. Walker, M.D. 
W. R. Warner. 
Gustave Schlegel. 

G. C. Davis. 

Wm. C. Todd, M.D.. 
J. P. Bolton. 
Samuel Campbell. 

P. P. Fox, G.P. 

E. S. Stiney. 

M. M. Schneider. 
L. W. Hildensband. 
John Gilbert & Co. 

H. A. Vogelbach. 
John G. Baker. 

L. H. A. Nickerson. 
A. M. Wilson. 
W. H. Pile & Sons. 
W. Ranck, M.D. 

A. H. Yarnall & Co. 
W. B. Abell. 
George V. Eddy. 
W. H. Pile & Sons. 
W. A. Strother. 
R. H. D. Beart, M.D. 
August Hohl. 
John Wyeth & Bro. 
J. H. Leefers. 
A. R. Slemmer. 
Samuel Campbell. 
R. Shoemaker & Co. 
James T. Shinn. 
Thomas R. Coombe. 
[ohn R. Stevenson. 

J. B. Gorrell. 
H. F. W. Opperman. 
Prindle & Yount. 
James VanCourt. 
Gustavus Krause. 
W. R. Owens, M.D. 
H. C. VanMeter. 
D. Augustus Jones. 
John Butler. 
W. C. Bakes. 


Catalogue of the Class. 

Am. Jour. Pharm. 
Jan., 1877. 

Phillips, Jacob Franklin, 
Phillips, Thos. Jeff.Woodworth, 
Pleibel, Fred. Wm., Jr., 
Podolski, Louis Adolph, 
Porterfield, Wm. Perry, 
Prall, Delbert Elwyn, 
Rapp, Fred., 
Read, Harry Conrad, 
Reinecke, Ernest Wm , 
Roe, Thomas Coombe, 
Rosenwasser, Nathan, 
Rosenthal, Edwin, 
Ross, David Hambleton, 
Ross, David William, 
Rudolph, John Mason, 
Ryerson. Henry Ogden, 
Sample, Geo. William, 
Scheehle, George Philip, 
Schools, George William, 
Schwartz, Arthur, 
Selinger, John Anthony, 
Shaler, Lewis Irwin, 
Sharp, George Cutler, 
Shull, David Franklin, 
Smith Albert Henry, 
Smith, Edward Newton, 
Smith, Frank Roop, 
Smith, Joseph Granville, 
Smith, Joseph Stahle, 
Smith, Thomas, 
Smith, Wm. Harrold, 
Sommer, Aldo, 
Sparks, Wm. Cassady, 
Speaker, George. 
Spencer, William, 
Stearns, Moses, 
Sterner, Oliver Henry, 
Steuben, Milton Richard, 
Stevenson, Richard Graham, 
Stinson, Wm, James, 
Stone, Ward Beecher, 
Strobel John, Jr., 
Suess, Paul John, 
Sweitzer Morris Kemerer, 
Terrill, George Morton, 
Thomas, Robert, Jr., 
Trimble, Frank Fremont, 
Trupp, Louis, 
Uhler, Harry Negley, 
Unangst, Eugene Peter, 
Wade, McClanahan, 
Walker, Henry Crawford, 
Wallace, Wm. Sampson, 
Warner, Wm. R., Jr., 
Water mann, Benj. Carpenter, 
Weber, Jeremiah, 
Webster, George Caleb, 
Wehrli, Albert Christian, 
Weiss, Louis, 
Weller, Morris Sansom, 
Werkshagen, Otto, 
Wetherill, Wm. Henry, 
Whitehill, George William, 
Whiteside, Wm. Elder, 
Whitney, Henry Clay, 
Williams, Luther Thomas, 
Williams, Thomas David, 
Wilson, Alexander, 
Wilson, Thos.Winfield, 
Winans, Henry Matthias, 
Wingert. Joseph Vincent, 
Witsil, George Edward, 
Wolf, Francis Xavier, 
Woolston, Wm. Norton Shinij, 
Wright, G. Shoemaker Roberts, 
Zacharias, Isidore, 
Ziebach. Edwin Robert, 
Zinn, Oscar, 

Town or County. 





Falling Water, 

E. Saginaw, 

Mt. Carroll, 













St. Petersburg, 



Kansas City, 




















S. Bethlehem, 
















Del Norte, 















Mt. Holly, 










W. V. 











N. J. 


W. V. 















































N. J. 









N. J. 





P.M. Kelly, M D. 
J. L. Bispham, Ph.G. 
Fred. Pleibel, M.D. 
George C. Evans. 
H. C. Blair's Sons. 
A. A. Dunk & Co. 
M. J. Cummings. 
C. C. Hughes. 
Joseph W. Stenger. 
J E. Lobstein, M.D. 
P. Fitch, M.D. 
Gustavus Krause. 
Bullock & Crenshaw. 
James F. Ross. 
J. S. Ward. 
Samuel Campbell. 
C. R. Haig. 
W. C. Bakes. 
J. A. Armstrong. 
J. J. Cummings, M.D. 
John Oddy, M. D. 
L. M. Pratt, M D. 
A. M. Burden, M. D. 
C Shumury, Jr. 
Herman A. Vogelbach. 
Alexander Campbell, M.D. 
N. B. Danforth, Ph.G. 
Richardson & Simrall. 

Robert Shoemaker & Co. 
Jos. P. Remington. 
Sommer, Miller & Terdenge. 
Emmor H. Lee. 
Wm. A. Whittem. 
H. C. Blair's Sons. 

W. H. Rinker, Ph.G. 
Henry A. Bower. 
W. R. Warner & Co. 
Geo. D. Keefer & Bro. 
R. E. Stone & Co. 
J. K. Knorr, M.D. 
John Shoffner. 
S. E. R. Hassinger. 

G. H. Landon & Co. 
R. Thomas. M.D. 
R. P. Trimble. 

T. Wendel, Jr., 

H. N. Uhler, M.D. 
Unangst & Kressler. 
Hays & Co. 

Smith & Painter. 
Hugh Campbell. 
Wm. R. Warner. 

F. G. Irwin. 
M Coombes. 

Wm. Procter, Jr., Co. 
A. E. Ebert, Ph.G. 
P. R. Thombs. 
Sommer, Lynds & Co. 
C. A. Werkshagen. 
Wetherill & Bro. 
Harry N. Bryan, 
P. S. P. Whitesides, M.D. 

G. Krause. 

R. M. Buste«d. 
J. B. Moore. 
John Moffet. 
Thos. Hunter. 
J. F. Nickey. 
F. C. Clemson. 
Baker, Moore & Mein. 
J. H. Stein. 
A. W. Test. 
Richard Walmsley. 
Lippman Bros. 
Dr. J W Douges. 
Chr. Widule. 



FEBRUARY, 1877. 


By John M. Maisch. 
{Read at the Pharmaceutical Meeting January 16, 1877.) 
Under the above title, Dr. Albert N. Blodgett of Boston has com- 
municated a paper to the Boston " Medical and Surgical Journal " of 
Dec. 21, which was also copied, without comment, in the " Druggists' 
Circular " for January. The avowed purpose of Dr. Blodgeti's article 
is to comment upon a paper, written by me for the " Medical and Sur- 
gical Reporter" of Philadelphia, Sept. 9, 1876, and republished in the 
October number, 1876, of the "Am. Jour. Pharm.," in which I 
endeavored to show how, with little trouble on the part of physicians, 
not only the solid articles, but likewise the liquid preparations of our 
present " Pharmacopoeia " might be prescribed by metric weights. 
The latter part of my subject is the main, perhaps the only fault, which 
Dr. Blodgett has to find with my paper, and which he criticizes as 
follows : " The guide which most physicians follow in prescribing 
liquids is the volume of the liquid employed ; and this principle finds a 
ready and simple application in the metrical system as adopted in the 
larger universities and hospitals of Europe where this system is in use, 
as well as in the hands of scientific men generally in those countries — 
a fact which I am sorry Professor Maisch has overlooked." 

Now, in discussing the use of the metrical system in prescriptions, 
the question should not be mixed up with the manner in which that 
system is employed in the various arts and sciences. I am well aware 
that measures are at the present time more frequently employed in 
chemical assays than weights, and have employed them myself for 
many years ; but as to their use in pharmacy, it is stated in my paper 
above referred to that " the Pharmacopoeias of Continental Europe and 
the prescriptions of physicians in those countries express all quantities by 
weight only, whether the material directed be solid cr liquid." In the pas- 


50 The Metrical System in Prescriptions. { Am F^i8^ am ' 

sage quoted before, Dr. Blodgett hints at a different practice in the larger 
universities and hospitals of Europe, and in another place makes the state- 
ment that " the druggist is expected to know how to dispense the 
articles without the special signs gmm. or cc, and to understand solids 
as prescribed in grams and liquids in cubic centimetres " Let us examine 
the correctness of these assertions. 

Professor Dr. Carl D. von Schroff, of the University of Vienna, in 
his valuable " Lehrbuch der Pharmacologic " uses the following lan- 
guage : " The doses of medicines are measured by weight " (Die Arz- 
neigabe messen wir nach dem Gewichte) ; and again : " Liquid medi- 
cines likewise are very properly measured by weight" (Auch die flussi- 
gen Arzneien werden mit Recht durch das Gewicht gemessen). Dr. 
Hager in his " Erster Unterricht des Pharmaceuten " explains the 
manner of weighing liquids correctly, and very properly remarks that 
4t an excess of one in mixtures is a loss and indicative of negligence 
(luderliche Arbeit) also that c * an exact and conscientious apothecary 
weighs always correctly Prof. A. Andouard of Nantes remarks in his 
" Elements de Pharmacie " that the prescribing by drops is defective, 
and should always be replaced by prescribing by weights, the only method 
by which errors in doses can be avoided (La prescription me'dicale par 
goutte est defectueuse et devrait toujours etre remplacee par la pre- 
scription en poids, la seule qui ne puisse donner lieu a des erreurs de 

The use of weights only in the making of pharmaceutical preparations 
and in the dispensing of prescriptions is so well established throughout 
all Europe, with the sole exception of Great Britain, that since the adop- 
tion in medicine of the metrical system by the different nations of Europe, 
the proportions of the various ingredients in formulas and prescriptions 
are usually given in figures only, because every interested person under- 
stands that these figures represent grams in all cases, and not merely 
grams for solids and cubic centimetres for liquids. For this reason, the 
designation gram is usually not met with ; but the observant peruser of 
European pharmaceutical and medical literature may glean from many 
incidental remarks that weights alone are intended in all cases, unless 
otherwise directed. Dorvault's "l'Officine" (8th edition, 1872) 
contains numerous formulas from the various pharmacopoeias, formerly 
officinal in Great Britain, and in all cases the weights and measures 
have been calculated in the approximate gram-values ; nevertheless the 

Am V J e°b u rx877 arm '} The Metrical System in Prescriptions. 51 

word gram is never employed in any formula, unless another weight 
value besides gram has been given, as for instance in the formula for 
pyroleine de colza (p. 549), for the preparation of which Huile de colza 
500 kit.) Minium 250 gr. are directed. If measures are intended instead 
of weights, they are always specially indicated, like in the formula for 
alcoholic hydrocyanic acid (p. 209) which reads : Acide cyanhydrique 
<anhydre 1 volume, Alcool 6 volumes. That the same rule holds good 
also for prescriptions may be easily learned from the introductory 
remarks to the chapter on potions (pp. 741, 742), where the weight of 
the ingredients and of the medicine is three or four times referred to, 
• as for instance in the following sentence: If a potion consists only of 
a mixture of one or several syrups with medicated waters or ptisans, 
the syrups are first weighed and afterwards the water (Lorsqu'une 
potion ne consiste que dans un melange d'un ou plusieurs sirops avec 
<des hydrolats ou des hydrops, on phe d'abord les sirops, puis les eaux). 

Prof. E. Soubeiran says on the same subject in his " Traite de 
Pharmacie " (edit. 1847, ^5 P* 2I 9) : Ordinarily there enter into the 
composition of potions a syrup in the quantity of 30 to 60 grams, dis- 
tilled waters, vegetable infusions in the quantity of 60 to 120 grams 
(II entre ordinairement dans la composition des potions un sirop a la 
dcse de 30 a 60 grammes, des eaux distilles, des infusions vegetales a 
la dose de 60 a 120 grammes). 

The medical and pharmaceutical literature of the continent of Europe 
bears abundant evidence that prescriptions and formulas are always 
given by weight, and when they are copied from English or American 
periodicals, the values are usually translated in grams. If further proof 
was needed, it may be mentioned that the posological tables appended 
to the recent pharmacopoeias of continental Europe give the doses 
invariably in the metric weight, as they formerly did in grains, but 
never in metric measures, as the following few quotations from the 
table of maximum doses of the German " Pharmacopoeia " will prove : 

Grammata Grammata 
Pro dosi. Pro die. Pro dosi. Pro die. 

Kreosotum, . . . 0*05 0*2 Tinctura Cantharidum, . o - 5 1*5 

Liquor Kali arsenicosi, . 4 2*0 Tinctura Iodi, . . 0*3 1*2 

Oleum Crotonis, . . o - o6 0-3 Tinctura Opii simplex, . 1*5 5-0 

, " In giving ol. ricini," says Dr. Blodgett, "nobody estimates the 
dose by its absolute weight in grains on the scale." If this is intended 
to refer to the patient, nobody will object ; but if to the physician and 

52 The Metrical System in Prescriptions. { Am &Z;*%T 

pharmacist, Dr. Blodgett is decidedly in error. Says Dorvault (p. 543) : 
" It is frequently given as a mild purgative in the dose of 15 to 60 
grams." (On Pemploie frequemment commg purgatif doux, a la dose 
de 15 a 60 grammes.) The fact is that physicians and pharmacists^ 
who study in Europe, are taught and become acquainted with the doses 
of all drugs, chemical and galenical preparations by weight only, and 
for the former to prescribe by measures would involve the same amount 
of labor that Dr. Blodgett objects to would be entailed upon our phy- 
sicians, if they were to follow the plan proposed by me in the previous 
paper. But it should be remembered that any change of an established 
system will cause some inconvenience, until the new system has gained 
a firm foothold, when its use will be found quite as convenient — and 
in the case under discussion even more so — than the one which pre- 
ceded it. 

The greater convenience and correctness of weights have long since 
been recognized in the wholesale drug trade. Acids, copaiba, Peril 
balsam, volatile oils and medicinal spirits are always sold by weight- 
and within a few years the practice of selling castor oil by the gallon, 
was, to the satisfaction of all dealers, changed to that by the pound. 
Our " Pharmacopoeia " even recognizes the correctness of this fact by 
having changed, in the last two revisions, all measures of the liquid 
acids, of chloroform, olive oil and honey into weights. If these liquids 
are more conveniently and correctly handled by weight, why not like- 
wise glycerin, syrups, tinctures, ethers, etc. ? And if a change to the 
metric system is to be made in pharmacy and medicine, why not make 
it at once far enough, instead of halting half way, which would render 
another change in the future necessary ? 

But it might be urged that chemical analysis is nowadays more 
extensively performed by the volumetric than by the gravimetric 
method. While admitting the correctness of this preference, it should 
be borne in mind that the test liquids — special cases excepted — are all 
aqueous solutions, which show a like expansion and contraction with 
the rising and falling variation from the normal temperature. Such is 
not the case with the various liquids which are medicinally employed ; 
and the relative weights of liquids entering into a mixture and meas- 
ured at different temperatures, must therefore, necessarily, vary, even 
if they had been measured with instruments constructed like the 
pipettes and burettes employed in volumetric analysis, instruments 

A V<^8£ m '} The Metrical System in Prescriptions. 53 

which are entirely impracticable for the dispensing of most medicinal 
liquids ; and that the probable errors of reading from the graduated 
measures, as usually constructed for pharmacists, are much larger and 
increase with the quantity, must be evident to every intelligent observer. 

To these considerations must be added some other very important 
ones, namely, the great volatility of some liquids at ordinary tempera- 
tures, and the tenacious adhesion of others to the graduated vessels. 
The dispensing of liquids by weight offers, for all the reasons advanced, 
by far greater accuracv than could be attained by measures, even if 
they were constructed upon the same principle as burettes and pipettes ; 
and that the difficulties of dispensing by weight are not greater than by 
the use of measures will readily be acknowledged by those who have 
accustomed themselves to the former practice, and this, it seems to me, 
will become the duty of American apothecaries in the near future. 

The physician now in practice will encounter some difficulties in 
adapting his knowledge and experience to the change under considera- 
tion, and to aid him in this, and show that it must not be considered 
an impossible task, even with our present " Pharmacopoeia," was one 
of the main objects of my previous paper; after the metric system 
shall have been fully recognized in medicine and pharmacy, the stu- 
dents of both medicine and pharmacy will learn the proper doses of 
all drugs and preparations by weight, and consequently prescribe and 
dispense them thus. 

A common oversight by many physicians may here be incidentally 
alluded to, namely, the fact that solids dissolved in liquids occupy a 
certain space, depending in part upon their own specific gravity and 
upon the nature and quantity of the solvent. On the other hand, it 
is frequently overlooked that on mixing certain liquids a contraction 
takes place, as in the case of alcohol or concentrated acids with water. 
No uniformly applicable rule can be given for these occurrences, and 
in most cases the difference in the expected measure falls within the 
variations of the approximate measures to which the patient has 
recourse. For the salts of the alkalies, alkaline earths and even the 
lighter metals, it may be assumed that in solution they occupy the 
space of about one-third their weight of water. This is not absolutely 
correct, but it is very convenient and sufficiently approximate for cal- 
culating the dose. Dr. Blodgett gives a formula for potass, brom., 
grm. 12 *, syr. simpl., aq. font., da cc. 60, which it seems was expected 

54 The Metrical System in Prescriptions. {^•}™;S% rmt ' 

to measure 120 cubic centimetres, or 8 tablespoonfuls ; in reality, how- 
ever, it will be found to measure rather more than 123 cubic centime- 
tres, an excess of about i\ per cent, over the expected volume. If" 
such a prescription, without the signs grm. and cc, was dispensed by a 
pharmacist conversant with the practice of continental Europe, it 
would measure a little over 108 cubic centimetres, a deficiency of 
per cent, of the expected volume, equal to a difference of about 7 per 
cent, between the variations -from the expected measure, the combined 
difference being 12J per cent., or less than the variation in the approx- 
imate measure of the tablespoonful, which is usually assumed to be 15 
cubic centimetres (about half a fluidounce), while the French "Codex" 
gives it at 20 grams (or cubic centimetres) of water, a difference of 33; 
per cent, on the smaller, and of 25 per cent, on the larger measure. 

In this connection it may not be out of place to mention some 
typographical errors, which, however, are easily recognized as such. 
In Dr. Blodgett's paper, as published in both journals mentioned above,, 
it is said that the gram equals in volume 16*2318 minims, or about 
"quarter of a fluidounce"; this should read, "quarter of a fluid* 
drachm." In the " Proceedings of the Amer. Phar. Assoc.," 1876, 
p. 677, the writer is made to say that " 30 drachms of water make 2 
tablespoonfuls, and 40 drachms of syrup about the same measure," 
The word " drachms," it is obvious, should read, in both cases, 
" grams." 

After all these considerations, it must be quite plain to the physician 
and pharmacist that, in prescribing by metric weights, with the few 
simple rules advocated in my previous paper, any variation between 
the intended and the actual amount of even a potent medicine ordered 
must, in the approximate apportionment of doses by the patient, natu- 
rally fall considerably within the limits of the variation of these approx- 
imate measures usually employed ; and that, unless maximum doses were 
directed, in which case it would be the special duty of the physician 
to examine the approximate measures on hand, no inconvenience or 
danger to the patient could result. 

In the above I have alluded only to the practice on the continent of 
Europe ; how is it upon the western hemisphere ? A paper by Prof. 
C. G. Wheeler, of Chicago, presented to the Amer. Phar. Assoc. at 
its last meeting (see "Proceedings," 1876, p. 441) throws some light 
upon this, and we learn, in the countries named there and probably upon 

Am Fe°b u ?i877. rm } The Metrical System in Prescriptions. 55 

the entire continent of South America, there is no officially published 
" Pharmacopoeia," but that those of various European nationalities are 
used. Since Portugal and Spain employ metric weights only in the 
preparation and dispensing of medicines, it is fair to presume that these 
are employed almost to the entire exclusion of measures. 

Cuba naturally follows the mother-country, Spain, and with the 
pharmaceutical journal, "La Emulacion," as far back as 1863, before 
us, we learn that the metric weights have been in use there at that 
time. The following formulas, taken from that journal of January, 
1864, and June, 1865, will show this : 

Colodion morfinizada (Collodion with morphia.) 
R. Colodion elastico (flexible collodion), . . 30 gramos 

Hydroclorato de morfina (muriate of morphia), . 1 gramo 
H. s. a. (Mix according to art). 

Electuario antiblenorragica (Antiblennorrhagic Electuary). 
R. Tanato manganico (tannate of manganese), . 25 centigramos 
Polvos de cubeba (powdered cubebs), . . 30 gramos 

Balsamo de copaiba (copaiva), . . 30 gramos 

M. Mix. 

Pocion contra la metrorragia (Potion against metrorrhagia). 
R. Cocimiento de salep (decoction of salep), . 200 gramos 

Acido phosphorico (phosphoric acid), . . 5 idem 

Jarabe de frambruesas (syrup of raspberry), 1 . 20 idem 
Una cucharada cada media hora (a spoonful every half an hour). 

As far as the writer is informed, besides the United States " Phar- 
macopoeia," there has been only one national "Pharmacopoeia" issued 
on this side of the Atlantic, the latest edition of that work being the 
" Nueva Farmacopea Mexicana," published in Mexico in 1874. As 
might have been expected, this work leans on the similar issues of 
southwestern Europe, and is a production very creditable to the phar- 
maceutical society by which it was issued. That there, also, weights 
alone are employed, to the exclusion of measures, will be seen from 
the following formulas copied from the " Farmacopea," to which, as 
in the preceding case, the English translations are added : 

Alcoholato de Canela (Alcoholatum corticis Cinnamoni). 
Canela de Ceylan (Ceylon cinnamon), . . quinientos gram. 500 

Alcohol de 8o° (80 per cent, alcohol), . . cuatro-mil gram. 4000 

Hagase macerar la canela en el alcohol por cuatro dias y destilese en B. M. hasta 
obtener toda la parte espirituosa (Macerate the cinnamon in the alcohol for four 
days, and distil, by means of a water-bath, until the whole of the spirituous por- 
tion has been obtained). 

56 The Metrical System in Prescriptions. { Am -/°£ 

Tintura de Iodo (Tinctura Iodii). 
Iodo (Iodine), .... diez gram, 10 
Alcohol de 90 (90 per cent, alcohol), . ciente-veinte gram. 120 

Disuelvase y filtrese (Dissolve and filter). 
Agua de Subacetato de Plomo de Goulard (Aqua cum Subacetate Plumbico ex 


Subacetato de plomo liquido (solution of subacetate of lead), quince gram. 15 
Agua comun (common water), . . . quinientos gram. 500 

Alcoholato de Colonia (Cologne water), . . treinte gram. 30 

Reemplazando el agua de Colonia con la misma cantidad de alcohol alcanforado, 
se tiene el Agua <vegeto-alcanforada (By replacing the Cologne water with .the same 
-quantity of camphorated alcohol, the 'vegeto- camphorated water is obtained). 

It will be evident from the above that the extent of the countries 
in which the metric weights are employed in medicine and pharmacy 
far exceeds that in which the troyounce and measures are used. To 
do away with these differences, it appears to me, is the aim at the intro- 
duction of the metric system that weights alone are the proper 
medium for dispensing medicines is no fault or advantage of the sys- 
tem ; nor dp I conceive the unit to be of anv special advantage, except 
in so far that it bears a simple and easily comprehended relation to the 
units of length and capacity. Whether the length of the meter has 
been correctlv ascertained or not, is not a question to be considered in 
this respect, nor how far the unit is divisible by two ; no system can 
be devised which can be indefinitely divided without fractions. To 
simplify the commercial not only, but also the intellectual intercourse 
between the intelligent nations of the earth, is among the primary 
objects of the movement, in the successful accomplishment of which 
every physician and pharmacist may and let us hope will take an active 
part. And as to the special advantages of the metric system, I may 
be permitted to quote from the concluding paragraph of Dr. Blodgett's 
paper : " It dispenses with the signs of the quantities ; it employs 
Arabic figures instead of Roman numerals ; it assures the physician of 
more competent service from the pharmacist, and of a better quality 
of medicines ; and, last but not least, it reduces considerably the dan- 
ger of mistakes on the part of physician and of druggist." 

This paper has grown far beyond the limits originally designed for 
it ; in its preparation so many points appeared to present themselves, 
requiring at least a passing notice, that the writer has to ask the indul- 
gence of the peruser, in the hope that some medical and pharmaceuti- 
cal matters, which appear as yet to be less understood than they deserve 
to be, may hereafter attract more attention ; and if he has succeeded 
to awaken the interest of others, he will consider himself amply repaid 
for the labor. 

Am. Jour. Pharm. \ 
Feb., 1877. J 




By Adolph W. Miller, M.D. Ph.D. 

(Read at the Pharmaceutical Meeting January i6th f 1877.) 

Some extraordinary accounts of falsification of drugs and chemicals 
having recently come to the notice of the writer, it is deemed advisable 
to place an account of them on record. While they embrace perhaps 
nothing that is absolutely new, the subject is presented in a new phase 
in so far as it relates to most villainous frauds practised on suffering 
humanity by apparently respectable druggists, whose only plausible 
excuse for these rascalities seems to be excessive and ruinous competi- 
tion in business. It may be prefaced that these statements are not 
mere hearsay testimony, but that most of them are derived from parties 
having an actual knowledge of the transactions referred to. 

Oregon balsam of fir (so-called) appeared in the New York market 
several years ago. Prof. Maisch then examined it, pronounced it to 
be of suspicious appearance, and raised the query : " Is such an article 
known on our Pacific coast, and if so, what is its source, and how is 
it obtained?" ("Am. Jour. Pharm. ," 1874, p. 106.) This inquiry 
can now be answered by stating that the article in question emanated 
from St. Louis, Mo., where it was manufactured by carefully melting 
two parts of the finest select white rosin with one part oil of turpen- 
tine. A small amount, generally about one ounce to five gallons, of 
oil of wormwood was subsequently added, this having been found to 
be most efficacious in completely disguising the ordinary terebinthinate 
odor. The "balsam" was then shipped to a prominent New York 
broker, who succeeded in selling considerable quantities of it, as the 
genuine article happened to be at that time unusually scarce and high- 

Sulphate of quinia, put up in the usual style of the American manu- 
facturers, has heretofore been regarded as being above reproach. Even 
our lately much abused dealers in pure essential oils of New York, 
contented themselves with operations in Pelletier's French quinia. 
My information is to the effect that a year or two ago in one of our 
Western cities the labels of American manufacturers were deliberately 
soaked off, after which an admixture of salicin was introduced. The 
label was then replaced and the article disposed of. Another some- 
what more enterprising dealer in the same city had muriate of cinchonia 
manufactured on his own premises and used this to adulterate sulphate 

58 Adulterations— Syrup of Iodide of Iron. { A % J e ™^87 7 arra 

of quinia to a large extent. In this case the preparation was put up 
in tin cans, without bearing the name of any manufacturer. 

Italian essential oils, chiefly lemon and bergamot, were imported by 
a Western druggist to the extent of 100 cans in one lot. They were 
opened, sophisticated to an enormous extent, and again closed with 
false seals and brands. 

While in the East, the adulteration of cream of tartar is almost 
entirely confined to grocers and spice mills, in the West the wholesale 
druggists also seem to indulge extensively in this fraud. 

The labels and wrappers of English calomel have been successfully 
imitated in the West, and large amounts of this pseudo-imported 
chemical have been there disposed of. 

If it be not deemed inappropriate to draw a moral from the above 
facts, which are vouched for by the parties best qualified to do so, this 
would embrace chiefly two points, namely, an injunction to continued 
vigilance and close scrutiny of all substances that can be adulterated > 
and also an appeal for a little more liberality in making purchases. It 
seems to be conceded that the minimum running expenses of carrying 
on the wholesale drug business are from 5 to 8 per cent, of the sales » 
the expense of salesmen varies, usually, from 5 to 25 per cent, of the 
amount of their sales, 10 per cent, being perhaps a low average. A little 
calculation will therefore suffice to show that when goods are sold 
direct to consumers at less than 10 per cent, margin, or through the 
instrumentality of traveling salesmen at less than 20 per cent, profit,, 
the inference may be fairly drawn that there are just grounds for sus- 
picion in the case. 


By H. P. Reynolds. 
The formula of the " U. S. P." for syrup of iodide of iron, if 
exactly followed, yields, invariably, a satisfactory product, which, in 
well filled and stoppered bottles, keeps almost indefinitely and is 
entirely indifferent to indirect light. The bottle once opened, how 
ever, the slight access of air causes the contents to darken, from the 
surface downward, and it soon becomes unfit to dispense. To remedy 
this discoloration, the late Prof. F. F. Mayer has recommended the 
addition of hyposulphite <ff soda, others the use of citric and of hypo- 
phosphorous acids, and the placing in the syrup of bright metallic iron, 
has proved useful. 

Am F?Crt77™'} N on- Actinic Glassware. 59 

There are, perhaps, reasonable objections to all but the latter 
method, and I venture to offer another, which, so far, seems quite 
effectual, and which is at any rate new to me, though it may not be so 
to other readers of the "Journal." If the bottle containing the 
darkened syrup be placed in a water-bath and brought to the boiling 
point, 1 the discoloration disappears, the syrup assumes its normal 
appearance and, if as cautiously preserved as at first, will retain it as 
well, so far as observed. A sample now before me, thus treated two 
months ago, being at that time of a dark cherry color, seems now 
" as good as new." The remnants of syrup left in bottles that have 
been opened may be collected into one full bottle, thus conveniently 
restored, and satisfactorily dispensed. 

There does not seem to be any evolution of iodine during the 
heating, and the restoration is probably due to a recombination of 
separated elements. 
% Plainfield, N. J., January 3, 1877. 


By Hans M. Wilder. 
In drug stores are to be found a good many substances (not only 
chemicals but also galenical preparations) which are very sensitive to 
light, and much ingenuity has been bestowed upon devices for exclud- 
ing light. The first thing that suggested itself was to keep such 
articles in dark closets ; these not always being^practicable the next 
thing was to wrap or paste black or dark-colored paper round the 
respective bottles. This served its purpose perfectly, but did not look 
nice ; then bottles made from black glass (hyalith) were introduced 
and were in use for many years, having only one drawback, that it was 
impossible to inspect their contents except by pouring out. This led 
to the desire to substitute some other color which permitted inspection 
and, at the same time, guarded the contents against the chemical action 
of the solar light. Blue, itself a dark color, was next hit upon, under 
the mistaken notion that it would be as effectual as black, with the 
advantage of permitting examination of its contents. Unhappily, 
blue was the worst color which could be selected, and it is a wonder 

1 This process has been recommended by M. E. Fougera, of New York, in 
i860; see "Amer. Jour. Phar.," i860, p. 22. — Editor. 


Non- Actinic Glassware. 

Am. Jour. Pharm. 
Feb., 1877. 

that said notion still prevails, although physicists, many years ago, have 
proved that chemical action is intimately connected with the blue rays. 

The solar spectrum, as is well known, consists of several colors, 
ranging from violet in the one end to red in the other end ; by further 
examination it has been proved that, while the greatest heat is found in 
the red end, the violet end possesses the greatest chemical action. 
Thus, while red, yellow or orange rays give light enough to see by, for 
chemically sensitive substances they are equivalent to darkness. 
Further, we know that when we pass solar light through a colored 
glass it simply intercepts all rays which are not of the color of the 
glass, that is to say, we filter away a large portion of the light with the 
peculiar properties pertaining to it ; consequently we have to employ a 
color which strains, as it were, the light from the rays which we wish 
to exclude. 

Red glass, being chemically most inactive, was first tried, but being 
quite expensive it was only employed occasionally ; yellow glass next 
had its share of attention, but laboring under the same defect (chloride 
of silver giving the purest yellow) it was discarded and people returned 
to black and blue glass. In the meantime a cheap substitute for black 
glass was extensively used, viz. : painting bottles with asphaltum 
varnish, which answered perfectly, being black by reflected light, and 
still sufficiently transparent to enable one to examine the contents. 
On observing that the said varnish, in thin layers and by transmitted 
light, had an amber-yellow color it was thought that dark-yellow glass, 
which is quite cheap, might be used, so much the more as it was more 

This dark-yellow glass is produced by carbon (by adding to the 
melted glass either refuse organic matter or finely powdered coke) ; 
Splitgerber (Dingier cxxxviii, 292) recommends a small percentage 
( 3 3 per cent.) of sulphur (if per cent, sulphate of soda with a little 
sugar) to white glass. E. Becquerel (" Annales de Chim. et de Phys.," 
1843, lx "> 2 ^3^ etc ">) proved that mere traces of finely divided particles 
completely cut off the chemical rays. 

Messrs. Whitall, Tatum & Co., of Philadelphia, were induced to 
manufacture such glass, and it can now be had at the same price as 
flint glass bottles. 

The " Danish Pharmacopoeia," of 1868, was the first (and, as far 
as known to the writer, still the only one) to direct the use of either 

Am. Jour. Pharm. ) 
Feb , 1877. f 

N on- Actinic Glassware, 

black or yellow bottles for sensitive substances, as chlorine water T 
calomel, white precipitate and the two iodides of mercury. The 
writer has kept both chlorine water and sulphuretted hydrogen water 
for weeks in such bottles, exposed to daylight, without losing their 
activity. A solution of nitrate of silver has purposely been kept in 
the show-window (exposed to an occasional sun) for some weeks, and. 
was found as clear the last day as when first made. Powdered savin 
and digitalis, so prone to change their green color to a dirty yellow, 
keep very well in yellow bottles. Will it take more than one decade 
before we see new stores fitted up with amber glass-ware throughout: 
instead of white ? 

Those desirous of ascertaining the power of a colored glass to 
exclude obnoxious rays can do so by following Le Neve Foster 
(" Brit. Jl. of Phot.") If upon a dead-black support is placed a narrow 
strip of white paper and on top of that a glass prism, the colored rays 
of the spectrum will be seen ; if now a colored glass be placed between 
the prism and the paper, those rays which the glass absorbs will have 

Becquerel mentions a curious property of the red rays, that they 
continue chemical changes if only commenced by the blue rays ; 
which property has been taken advantage of by the earlier daguerreo- 
typists to shorten the time of sitting. The same author mentions 
(loc. cit., p. 268, note) that Herschel has found the rays which 
destroy a vegetable color to have the same refractive power as those 
rays which are of a color complementary to that of the vegetable. 

Note by the Editor. — It is often stated that brown-yellow glass 
owes its color to finely divided carbon ; but Pelouze has shown (1865) 
that the same color is produced also by silicon, boron, aluminium,, 
calcium phosphide and selenium, and depends upon the formation of 
an alkaline sulphide from the sulphates present. In regard to the 
action of light upon solutions of nitrate of silver it is quite possible 
that the amber-colored glass may prevent its reduction in the presence 
of organic matter ; but solutions which are free from the latter will 
keep equally well in glass stoppered flint glass bottles. 


Cryolite and its Uses. 

J Am. Tour. Pharm. 
\ Feb., 18/7. 


By Willis Brenton, Ph.G. 

[From an Inaugural Essay presented to the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy.) 

The natural deposits of cryolite of any importance, as far as known, 
are in the Ural mountains between Russia and Siberia and on the 
western coast of Greenland, the latter being the great source of our 
cryolite and the only place where it is mined and exported to any great 
extent. The deposits at Miask in the Ural mountains are compara- 
tively small and quite impure, in combination with mica, fluor spar, etc., 
and being so far from civilization — in a mountainous wilderness, with 
very poor natural facilities for transportation, they have not as yet been 
of any particular use to the world. 

The Greenland deposits are remarkably pure and quite accessible. 
The veins, of a depth of 80 feet usually, are near the surface and 
extend along the cliffs for many hundred feet. At this place the 
Danish government has established a colony, and the mineral is exten- 
sively mined and shipped to Denmark, and also to the United States. 
It was first brought to notice by a missionary who took specimens to 
Copenhagen, where it was analyzed and afterward imported as a source 
of crude soda for use in the manufacture of soaps. 

Cryolite is a beautiful mineral. It generally occurs in great white 
masses, partially transparent, of a crystalline structure, and has very 
much the appearance of snow-ice, from which it has undoubtedly 
received its name, the Greek word kryos signifying ice. Cryolite has 
come to be quite an item of commerce in this country, and is now 
imported in quantities of many thousand tons yearly. For this purpose 
many vessels are employed. It is not often that a vessel can make 
more than one voyage a season, on account of the floating ice in the 
Northern waters. So it must necessarily take quite a fleet to get out 
sufficient cryolite to supply the great demand. As imported to this 
country, the mineral contains very few impurities. In fact, I believe 
there is a contract with the Danish government, and only a certain 
percentage of impurities are allowed. Each cargo is inspected before 
unloading, and if not up to the standard is rejected. When it is mined 
at a good depth, say 80 or 100 feet from the surface, it is very pure, 
whole cargoes containing but J per cent, of impurities. In some of 
the mines, as they descend, the mineral becomes of a darker color. 
But a peculiarity about it is that on exposure, or when subjected to heat, 
the color is entirely dissipated, leaving the cryolite perfectly pure. The 

Am 'TA^;S^ m '}' Cryolite and its Uses. 63 

smpurities of cryolite generally consist of carbonate of iron and 
sulphides of copper, iron and lead, the latter in very pretty crystals. In 
some specimens traces of gold and several rare metals have been found, 
•and quartz crystals occur often in connection with it. 

Cryolite, chemically considered, is a double salt of aluminum and 
sodium with fluorine, the formula being 3NaF.AlF 3 (Bloxam's chem- 
istry). It can be artificially prepared by mixing calcined alumina and 
carbonate of soda with an excess of hydrofluoric acid. 

Cryolite is not very hard, and can be easily reduced to a fine powder. 
In this condition, mixed with sand in the proportions of one part to 
three or four of sand, it has come into use in the manufacture of a 
beautiful white glass or porcelain ware, which is easily moulded and cut 
and is remarkable for its tenacity. 

It could be used for many purposes if the advantages were suffi- 
cient to pay the difference in cost of importation. 

As a source of soda, it is very profitable on account of the large 
percentage which it contains (about 35 per cent.) and the ease with 
which it is separated. The alumina present in it is no small item, 
and is now extensively used in the manufacture of the alum salts, 
which, as prepared from cryolite, are quite free from iron, generally 
containing but a trace. In the manufacture of the metal aluminum, 
cryolite has been used to a certain degree. But the process of isolation 
is not perfect, and I believe does not pay very well. Cryolite is inso- 
luble in water, but when long boiled with lime, decomposition gradually 
takes place. It is fusible at a red heat, and on cooling forms a kind of 
glass which is slightly soluble in water. To thoroughly separate the 
mineral into its constituents it is first necessary to convert it into a 
soluble compound, which is readily accomplished, in a large way, by 
first bringing it to a very fine state of division by passing it through a 
crusher, then through several mills of different degrees of fineness, 
after which it is passed through sieves and bolting cloth, making it as 
fine as flour. It is then mixed with about an equal weight of lime, 
and calcined at a dull red heat in a reverberatory furnace for several 
hours, when it assumes a grayish appearance, being decomposed into 
insoluble fluoride of calcium and soluble aluminate of sodium, besides 
a small percentage of carbonate and hydrate of sodium. These are 
then separated from the fluoride of calcium by lixiviation with hot 

64 Wash-Blue and its Analysis. { Am ^ , 1 ^ 7 a f B 

On passing carbonic acid gas through the solution, the acid unites 
with the soda, and the alumina is precipitated, leaving carbonate of 
sodium in solution. Aluminate of sodium is now manufactured to a 
considerable extent, and is used in the place of soda and potash lye in 
the making of soaps, and is considered superior to either as a detergent. 
Fluoride of calcium, the by-product in the manufacture of soda from 
cryolite, is used in large quantities as a flux in the reduction of iron, 
gold and other metals. Taking everything into consideration, the pro- 
cess of making soda from cryolite has many advantages over the old 
process of making it from barilla, the ash of marine plants of southern 
Europe, or from kelp, the ash of sea weeds. It generally takes about 
24 tons of sea weed to make one ton of barilla or kelp. The per- 
centage of soda in barilla is 25 per cent., and in kelp not over 7 per 
cent. They are used only in the manufacture of iodine now. About 
the year 1804, Leblanc discovered and introduced the process of 
making soda from sea salt or chloride of sodium. It is rather com- 
plicated, and consists of heating the salt with sulphuric acid to form 
sulphate of sodium, roasting this with limestone to convert it into an 
impure carbonate, which is afterward washed and purified. The 
extensive soda manufactories of England all make it from salt by this or 
similar processes, producing bicarbonate often containing more impuri- 
ties and a smaller percentage of carbonic acid than that produced in, 
in this country from cryolite. 


By H. G. Debrunner. 

The different pigments sold as " wash-blue " chiefly consist of Prus- 
sian blue, or ferric ferro-cyanide, (FeCy 6 ) 3 Fe 4 -f-i8H 2 ; some of them, 
however, are prepared by immersing starch in cold solutions of indigo » 
or anilin blue, by which process the pigment is absorbed. The latter 
kind is not very often met with ; indeed, I think there is hardly any in 
our present market. The former kind of blue, however, on which I 
made a series of experiments, is found in almost every house, under 
varying names, often as a dry powder, put up in " patent boxes," some- 
times, also, in solution. 

Soluble Berlin blue, as the term is used* in science, is not found in 
the market. I am referring to the blue precipitate formed on the addi- 

Am. Jour. Pharm.) 
Feb., 1877. J 

Wash-Blue and its Analysis. 


tion of ferric sulphate or chloride to an excess of potassic ferrocya- 
nide. The blue precipitate thus formed contains potassium, and is 
soluble in distilled water as soon as freed from adhering mother- liquor. 
Its formation is illustrated by the following equation : 

2(K 4 FeCy 6 ) + Fe 2 Cl 6 = 6KC1 4- 2(FeCy 6 K)Fe 2 
potass, ferrocyd. + ferric chid. — potass, chid. -{- sol. blue. 
It is precipitated from its solution by shaking it with such indifferent 
pulverized substances as baric sulphate, and the same effect is produced 
by hard water and salt solutions, which qualities render it unfit for 

The only allied compound which finds application as wash-blue is 
insoluble in water, and is obtained by the addition of a solution of pot- 
assic ferrocyanide, K 4 FeCy 6 + 3H 2 0, to an equal quantity of copperas, 
FeS0 4 -f-7H 2 0, also dissolved, and subsequent treatment of the white 
precipitate (K 2 Fe 5 C 12 N 12 ) with a mixture of nitric and sulphuric acids. 
The product of this process is insoluble in water ; it will, however, 
readily dissolve in solutions of ammonic tartrate, oxalic acid and potas- 
sic ferro-cyanide. Only the latter two solvents are of practical impor- 
tance. Oxalic acid should be used in proportion of about \ of the 
weight of the dry blue in order to dissolve it entirely. Since oxalic 
acid is a poison it is doubtless preferable to substitute it by an equal 
amount of potassic ferrocyanide, thus obtaining a perfectly harmless 
product. For the manufacture of blue ink I should prefer the latter 
solvent already on account of its not corroding steel pens. The addi- 
tion of the potassic ferrocyanide is done best when the previously 
formed and oxidized precipitate is sufficiently washed and of the con- 
sistency of a thick pulp (60 per cent, water). The mixture then is 
repeatedly passed through a mill, dried at about 120° F., and ground, 
when it is ready for sale. 100 lbs. of potassic ferrocyanide thus yield 
80 lbs. of dry blue (almost exactly the theoretical amount), which 
require about 12 lbs. of K 4 FeCy 6 3H 2 to become soluble. 

The pigment thus obtained forms a light, dark-blue powder, per- 
fectly soluble in water ; in lumps it possesses a handsome bronze tint. 
The color of the solution is a beautiful blue-violet, similar to the shade 
obtained by the action of ammoniacal vapors on the pure blue pigment. 
Sometimes, particularly if precipitated from very dilute " liquors," its 
solution shows fluorescence. It cannot be denied that the cost of this 
blue is higher than that of the one rendered soluble by oxalic acid. 


66 Wash-Blue and its Analysis. {^'fIIT^T™' 

The "patent" boxes, however, it is sold in contain such homoeopathic 
quantities (average 60 grains, sold at ten cents) that the cost of package 
and label far surpasses that of the contents, still leaving a fair profit to 
the wholesale manufacturer. 

The greater number of the " wash-blues " in the market contain 
oxalic acid, the detection of which is by no means so easy a matter as 
might be imagined. It is evident that on addition of calcic acetate not 
only calcic oxalate will precipitate, but also the Berlin blue, which thus 
becomes deprived of its solvent. The non-transparency of the solu- 
tion (except on excessive dilution) neither facilitates a direct reaction. 
The method which I would propose, and which has given very satis- 
factory results, as well for the qualitative detection as for the estima- 
tion of oxalic acid, in this case is as follows : 

About 10 grains of the blue to be tested- are heated with caustic 
soda. The pigment thus becomes converted into sodic ferrocyanide 
and hydrated ferric oxide, while the oxalic acid will form sodic oxalate. 
The iron is filtered off and the filtrate acidified with dilute acetic acid. 
If oxalic acid is present, calcic oxalate at once will precipitate on addi- 
tion of calcic acetate. As all the circumstances for the formation of 
ferric or a basic oxalate are present, it is advisable to dissolve the ferric 
precipitate in a few drops of hydrochloric acid ; add sodic acetate and 
acetic acid to the cold solution, which, although assuming a red color, 
will not form a precipitate of basic acetate of iron except on boiling. On 
addition of calcic acetate the oxalic acid can be recognized by the pre- 
cipitation of calcic oxalate, and it may be estimated in the usual manner 
if a quantitative determination should be desired. Although I have never 
found oxalic acid in this ferric precipitate, I would recommend not to 
omit testing for it. 

As to the detection of potassic ferrocyanide in wash-blue, I have 
seen the following test applied, viz. : A few drops ot the concentrated 
blue solution are dropped on a piece of filtering-paper and allowed to 
spread. Owing to the capillarity, around the blue spot a colorless wet 
zone will form, which, although being hardly of the breadth of T Vth 
of an inch, will allow the detection of potassic ferrocyanide on adding 
to it a drop of a dilute solution of ferric chloride by means of a thin 
glass rod (formation of Berlin blue). 

For confirmation I should recommend the following tests : 

If potassic ferrocyanide is contained in a wash-blue, the aqueous 
extract of its residue on ignition will contain potassic cyanide (silver 

Am Feb u , r i8 P 7 7 arm } Wash-Blue and its Analysis. 67 

reaction AgCy ,* boiling with a drop of amnionic sulphide and addition 
•of a drop of ferric chloride Fe 2 Cl 6 — red color). As it takes a very 
low heat to decompose Berlin blue, said aqueous extract sometimes 
contains undecomposed potassic ferrocyanide. Test with ferric chlo- 

Pure Berlin blue, ferric ferrocyanide, (FeCy 6 )Fe 4 -h 18 H z O, loses, at 
212 F., 7*22 per cent, of water, a fact the manufacturers are well 
aware of, and therefore never allow the temperature of the " blue dry- 
ing room" to exceed 100 to 120° F. 

On ignition, depending on the intensity of heat, varying mixtures of 
ferric and magnetic oxide remain as residue. The loss on ignition, 
therefore, does not allow any conclusions on the quantity of blue pres- 
ent (for instance, in a mineral color), and an estimation of the ferric 
oxide, either by titration or weight-analysis will always be necessary. 
It is evident that this method would become incorrect if applied in the 
quantitative analysis of a blue rendered soluble by potassic ferrocya- 
nide ; it, however, can be successfully followed in the estimation of 

oxalic acid blues." Wash-blue is hardly ever adulterated. 

In order to ascertain the quantitative relation between the ferric 
oxide and the total quantity of blue I prepared a pure sample by the 
same process as done on a large scale, and dried it slowly at 8o° F. 
It corresponded to the formula 2[(FeC 6 N 6 ) 3 4Fe+i8H 2 0]==2368, 
which will yield 7Fe 2 3 =i 120. 100 blue correspond to 47*290 per 
cent, oxide of iron. 

i*oo gram of this pure ferrocyanide of iron lost on ignition 0*6058 
= 60-58 per cent, of its weight. Actual residue == 0*3942 == 39*42 
per cent. This residue then was dissolved, the Fe reprecipitated as 
Fe 2 3 ,3H 2 0, and finally weighed as Fe 2 3 = 0*4750 = 47*50 per 
cent., nearly the theoretical amount. 

From these data the quantity of pure blue can be calculated. I 
have, however, found that the pure " commercial blues " dried at a 
somewhat higher temperature, contain less than 18 H 2 0, yielding 
49*75 to 50 per cent, of Fe 2 3 , and consider it "practically correct" 
to multiply the quantity of Fe 2 O s found, by two, in order to find the 
quantity of " commercial blue " present. 

The numerous other blue pigments of this series, as, for instance, 
TurnbuWs blue (ferrous ferricyanide, (Fe 2 C 12 N 12 )Fe 3 ), chromate blue, so 
called from potassic bichromate and sulphuric acid forming the oxidiz- 

6 8 Preparation of Medicinal Pearls, } A % J e b u ^8 7 h 7 ! rn *' 

ing agents of the previous white precipitate, K 2 Fe 5 C 12 N 12 ; steel blue y 
the product obtained on treatment of said white precipitate with hydro- 
chloric acid, etc., are never used as wash-blue, and therefore out of the 
range of consideration. In this connection I desire to express my 
thanks to Mr. John F. Grossklaus, who kindly assisted me in these 

Navarre, O., Jan. 15, 1877. 


[Translated from Hagers " Hand-book of Pharmaceutical Practice" 1876.) 

The mass for forming the capsules consists of gelatin, gum Arabic^, 
sugar and honey. This is rolled out into sheets of suitable thickness. 
One of these sheets is placed on top of an iron plate having a thickness 
of 0*6 centimetre, into which holes of a diameter of 1 centimetre have 
been bored. The gelatinous mass, while still pliant, sinks into these 
holes by its own gravity, forming a hollow hemisphere in each con- 
cavity. The ether or other medical preparation is then introduced, and 
the orifices are closed by another sheet of the gelatinous compound. 

A second iron plate, furnished with holes corresponding exactly to 
those of the first, is now applied and securely fastened by suitable screws. 
The whole apparatus is now reversed in such a manner that the 
superior plate assumes the inferior position. Concavities will thus be 
formed in the second sheet of gelatin in the same manner as they pre- 
viously were in the first. In order finally to separate the pearls, the 
entire arrangement is subjected to strong compression between iron 
plates in a powerful press. A. W. M. 


By the Editor. 

Coloring Matter from Phenol. — If a mixture of 3 parts of sul- 
phuric acid and 2 parts each of glycerin and phenol is kept for some 
time at a temperature of 120 to 130 C. (248 to 266 F.), it will 
gradually turn to a dark-red color, and, on being dissolved in water, 
hydrochloric acid will precipitate the coloring matter as a dark-brown 
powder, which is sparingly soluble in ether, and not crystallizable from 
its alcoholic or aqueous solution. Alkalies and alkaline salts color it 
handsomely red ; baryta, alumina and lead oxide unite with it to form 

Am V J e b u :'ir 7 h 7 arin '} Gleanings from the Foreign Journals. 69 

lakes. When heated with anilin a red color is produced. It dyes 
silk and wool. 

Thymol and pyrogallic acid yield coloring matters like phenol. — 
C. Reichl in Ber. deutsch. Chem. Ges., 1 876, p. 1429. 

The secretion of salicylic acid is effected, according to one 
view, by combination with the salts of blood in the form of salicylates. 
Freser and Friedberger assume a combination with the albuminates of 
the blood, which, shortly before the excretion, is converted into salicy- 
lates. Binz believes in the first theory, and regards the salicylates of 
the blood as being decomposed by the carbonic acid generated in the 

R. Fleischer regards the first view as the most correct one. Pure 
sodium salicylate is insoluble in ether, but on evaporation of the ether, 
after shaking it with a solution of the salt, reactions for salicylic acid 
may be obtained, though no residue is observed. This is due to the 
presence in the ether of minute traces of acetic acid. Neither carbonic 
nor acetic acid liberate salicylic acid from solutions of its salts, except 
in the presence of ether ; on the contrary, salicylic acid liberates 
acetic acid from its salts, and, in contact with the so-called neutral 
sodium phosphate, forms salicylate and acid phosphate of sodium ; 
however, on concentrating the solution containing these two salts, the 
neutral phosphate and free salicylic acid are again produced. — Chem. 
Centralbl., 1876, No. 45. 

Artificial oil of bitter almonds, prepared from toluol, by Wil- 
helmi, of Leipzig, has been examined, by E. Lippmann and Jos. 
Hawliczek, and compared with true oil of bitter almonds, which had 
been freed from hydrocyanic acid by distillation with milk of lime and 
ferrous sulphate ; the artificial and natural oil were found to be identi- 
cal, chemically as well as physically. They boiled between 178 and 
180 C (352*4 and 356 F.) ; the benzyliden chloride, prepared from 
both, had the same boiling point (203-204°C.) and the same elementary 
composition (C 7 H 6 C1 2 ) ; the benzoic acid prepared from both, by three 
different processes, had the fusing point (121 C.) and other properties 
of ordinary benzoic acid, and various ethers obtained from the two 
were identical. The specific gravity of the artificial oil at 0° C. was 
found to be 1*067, which agrees with the density (1*063) °^ tne 
benzaldehyd from the natural oil, determined by H. Kopp. — Ber. 
■deutsch. Chem. Ges., 1876, p. 1461-1463. 

70 Gleanings from the Foreign Journals. } Am F {Ci8 P 77 arm ~ 

Doctored Herbs. — A writer in the " Schweiz. Wochenschr. f. 
Phar.," 1876, No. 51, reports having met with some herbs, notably 
with melissa and mint, the odor of which suggested a fraudulent 
impregnation with volatile oil. To determine whether such was the 
case the following experiments were made : 30 grams each of the 
suspected herb, of an old herb sprinkled with a few drops of volatile 
oil and of a recently picked herb were macerated in a cool place witfe 
half a liter of water for 24 hours, then strained and the infusions 
mixed with a few grams of ether and set aside in a vessel covered with 
a well-fitting glass plate. After an hour the under side of the glass 
cover of the three liquids first showed the odor of ether, followed in 
the suspected and old herbs by the odor of the essential oil, which 
could not be perceived in the case of the fresh herb. 

Boswellia serrata yields a gum resin, called gugal in India. It 
occurs in irregular lumps, to which the papery or thick inner bark some- 
times adheres, greenish-yellow, occasionally with a red tinge ; consistence 
waxy, becoming brittle ; odor peculiar, balsamic, gradually diminished ; 
taste bitter and balsamic ; forms with water a greyish-white emulsion, 
Gugal is principally used as an incense, and has on this account been 
confounded with olibanum. — Pharm. Jour, and Trans., Sept. 2, 1876, 

Coto Barks. — Jul. Jobst has received a coto bark which was pro- 
cured from the banks of the Mapin river, in Bolivia, and showed some 
differences from the bark previously obtained under that name ("Am. 
Jour. Phar.," 1875, p. 541). By the process for cotoin (ibid., 1876, 
p. 352), a compound crystallizing in yellow scales was obtained, which 
is called paracotoin, and differs from cotoin in not possessing a biting 
taste ; in being less soluble in water, alcohol, ether, ammonia and pot- 
assa solution ; in being not precipitated by lead acetate, and in yielding 
with nitric acid a yellow solution. Dr. Burkart, of Stuttgart, has 
found the new body quite as valuable a remedy in diarrhoea as cotoin 
only somewhat larger doses were required. It is best given in the form 
of powder, triturated with sugar, o*i gram being used every three 
hours. — Phar. Zeitung, 1876, No. 98. 

Constituents of Angelica Root. — Dr. C. Brimmer has exam- 
ined some of the constituents of this root, and comes to the conclusion 
that Buchner's angelicin, when purified by repeated crystallizations, is 
tasteless and identical with Husemann's hydrocarotin ; the angelica 

Am Fek, r i8 P 7 h 7 arm '} Gleanings from the Foreign Journals. 71 

sugar is cane sugar, and the'm/», when added to fusing potassium 
hydrate, yielded resorcin, protocatechuic acid and volatile fatty acids., 
principally acetic acid. — Liebig's Annal., vol. 180, p. 269-282. 

Sulphate of Quinia, when exposed to the air, loses water of crys- 
tallization until its composition is (C 20 H 24 N 2 O 2 ) 2 H 2 SO 4 -j- 2 H 2 O. It 
then retains 4*6 per cent, of water, which is entirely expelled at i00°C o . 
The anhydrous quinia sulphate, when exposed to the air, rapidly absorbs 
again the whole amount of this water, acquiring the same composition 
as the air-dry salt. — Phar. Jour, and Trans., Sept. 2, 1876. 

Acetate of Morphia, when freshly prepared, is easily and com- 
pletely soluble in water ; but, according to Merck, there is a continual 
slow evolution of acetic acid, causing the salt to become incompletely 
soluble ; it is further altered by long keeping, becoming yellow and 
even brown. The salt is soluble without coloration in cold, strong 
sulphuric acid only when recently made ; but at the end of a few 
weeks it yields a faintly colored solution, although the salt may still be 
white. No loss of medicinal properties through the decomposition is 
experienced, unless an intense yellow color has been acquired.— Phat\ 
Jour, and Trans., 1876, p. 229. 

Quinetum. — Prof. Th. Husemann warns against the use of the 
crude mixed alkaloids ("Am. Jour. Phar.," 1876, p. 134, and 1877, 
p. 28), until, by careful experiments, it should have been demonstrated 
that it possesses decided advantages over purified chinoidin. Quine- 
tum, besides containing resinous substances and inorganic impurities, is 
largely composed of cinchonia, producing unpleasant symptoms, wh;cb 
last longer than from equal doses of quinia or quinidia, while at the 
same time the febrifuge properties are diminished. — Phar. Handehbl, 
Dec. 6, 1876. 

Fermentation of Glycerin. — A. Fitz observed that glycerin is 
not fermentable under the influence of the fungi of alcoholic ferments 
(Mucor racemosus) ; but when sufficiently diluted with water (20 
parts) and left in contact with schizomycetes and in the presence of 
calcium carbonate, it undergoes fermentation, normal butylic alcohol 
and butyric acid being produced, besides small quantities of ethylic 
alcohol and a volatile fatty acid (probably capronic acid) ; hydrogen 
and carbonic acid are given off during the fermentation. — Ber. deutsch. 
Chem. Ges., 1876, 1348-1352. 

72 Chemical Constitution of Bleaching Powder. { A %{°Ci8 P 7 h 7 arm ' 

Excipient for Pill Masses.— G. Welborn has presented a paper 
on this subject to the British Pharmaceutical Conference, and proposes 
a mucilage made from \ oz. powdered tragacanth and i\ oz. each of 
water and glycerin, adding 5 drops of oil of pimento. This tragacanth 
excipient will keep good for several years and smaller quantities of it 
are required than of several of the excipients directed in officinal pills. 
— Phar. 'Jour, and Trans., Sept. 23, 1876. 

Cement for Aquaria. — A mixture of equal parts of shellac and 
powdered pumice stone, used warm, will cement glass, wood and metal. 
Another serviceable cement is obtained by fusing flowers of sulphur 
and adding finely powdered pumice stone. — Pol. Notixbl., 1876, 239. 

The purification of sulphate of zinc is rapidly and conveniently 
effected by means of permanganate of zinc. Prof. Fr. Stolba dissolves 
the fine salt in 3 parts of boiling distilled water and adds some pure 
zinc white, diffused in water. To the boiling liquid a solution of 
permanganate of zinc is added, drop by drop, until a faint red color is 
produced. When the color ceases to disappear rapidly on the addition 
of a little zinc white, the oxidation and precipitation of the oxides of 
manganium and iron has been effected, and the boiling is then continued 
until the color of the permanganate finally disappears, or it is deoxidized 
by the careful addition of some solution of the impure zinc sulphate. 
A few drops of sulphuric acid are added to the filtered liquid to prevent 
the separation of basic salt, and the purified sulphate is crystallized 
in the usual way. 

Prof. Stolba prepares the solution of zinc permanganate by dissolving 
one part of potassium permanganate in sufficient hot water, and adding, 
with continued stirring, one part of silicofluoride of zinc. On cooling 
the mixture artificially, potassium silicofluoride separates, and the solu- 
tion of zinc permanganate is poured off. — Zeitschr. Oester. Ap. Ver., 

P- 555- 



By C. Stahlschmidt. 

The author has expressed the view that chloride of lime may be 
considered as a calcium hydrate, in which 1 atom of hydrogen is 
replaced by chlorine ; and further, that in the formation of chloride 
of lime, calcium chloride and water are produced ; also that on bring- 

Am Fe°b.?i 7 h 7 arm "} Chemical Constitution of Bleaching Powder. 73 

ing it in contact with water it splits up into calcium hypochlorite and 
(hydrate : 

(1) . 3CaH 2 2 + 4CI = 2CaHC10 2 + CaCl 2 + 2H 2 0. 

(2) . 2CaHC10 2 + Water = CaCl 2 2 + CaH 2 2 . 

Experiments led to verification of the results of Graham, Bolley, 
Tschigianjanz, Fricke and Reimer, that some calcium hydrates, dried 
at 100°, absorbed scarcely any chlorine, whereas others under the 
same conditions yielded good products. Dried over sulphuric acid, 
the limes absorbed chlorine readily. In the latter cases, however, it 
is considered that a small quantity of water is still present in the 
hydrate, which is a necessary condition for the absorption of the gas. 
o*4 per cent, of water or more in the hydrate is sufficient, so that 
chloride of lime may be formed at 0°, but if the hydrate has been dried 
at ioo° to 130 , it cannot be converted into chloride of lime, unless 
the latter undergoes a rise in temperature. In his experiments the 
author worked upon quite pure materials, and with scientific exactness. 
A low temperature was found to be unfavorable to the formation of 
chloride of lime, or at least to impede it. It was found difficult to 
account for the indisposition of certain limes to absorb chlorine gas. 
A calcium hydrate with a slight excess of free water gave a chloride 
of lime no stronger than when a dry hydrate was used, but the former, 
under favorable conditions, might be made to absorb more chlorine, 
and finaily attain a strength indicated by 39 per cent, of available 
chlorine. It was also found that a quick-lime, which slaked with 
difficulty, is less to be recommended for chloride of lime manufacture 
than one which slakes quickly. A lime of the former description 
absorbed the chlorine much more slowly, and gave a chloride of lime 
of only 31 to 35 percent. 

The following formula represents the formation of chloride of lime 
as bearing out the experimental results obtained : 

3 CaH 2 2 + 4 C1 = 2 CaHC10 2 + CaCl 2 + 2H 2 0. 

That water was liberated from perfectly dry calcium hydrate, on treat- 
ment with chlorine, was made manifest by the drops of water collected 
in the in-let tube. In certain cases a chloride of lime is obtained con- 
taining upwards of 40 per cent, of chlorine. Gopner, by passing the 
chlorine through warm water of 6o° to 70 , obtained ■ a chloride of 
lime of 4o'2, and another of 42^84 per cent. The author accounts 

74 Chemical Constitution of Bleaching Powder. { Km '& x .i^ m ' 

for this as follows : In presence of moisture a portion of the com- 
pound 2CaHC10 2 in the already formed chloride is decomposed into 
CaCl 2 2 and CaH 2 2 , the latter in presence of more chlorine, then 
giving CaHClCX. The following reaction may alse take place, 
2CaH 2 2 + 4CI = CaCl 2 2 + CaCl 2 + 2H 2 0, and when we have 
the two results, aCaHCIO, + CaCl 2 + 2H 2 and CaCl 2 2 + CaCl 2 
+ 2H 2 0, the strength of equal parts of such a mixture (chloride of 
lime) would be 43*5 per cent, actual chlorine ; in the proportion of 5 : 
1 = 40*5 per cent., and in that of 10 : 1 = 40*0 per cent. It is con- 
cluded that, with the help of the water liberated from the dry 
hydrate in its conversion into chloride of lime, together with that con- 
tained in, and carried along with the chlorine gas, the already described 
decompositions of the chloride of lime may take place, so that the 
amount of actual chlorine in the product will rise. This view is sup- 
ported by the fact that in a manufactured sample of chloride of 
lime, prepared from calcium hydrate which contained about 8 per cent* 
of water in excess, besides the compound CaClH0 2 , also calcium 
hypochlorite occurs in varying quantities. On suspending calcium 
hydrate in water, and passing a current of chlorine through the mix- 
ture, till alkalinity disappeared, and all the lime had dissolved, it was 
found that the following equation was exactly realized : 2CaH 2 2 -f- 
4CI = CaCl 2 2 + CaCl 2 + 2H 2 0. This was proved by estimating 
in equal volumes of the solution, first the actual chlorine, secondly the 
lime. Of course the most conclusive proof of the existence of calcium 
hypochlorite in the chloride of lime solutions, is that Kingzett has 
obtained crystals of calcium hypochlorite from such solutions by 
evaporation, in a vacuum over sulphuric acid, or by cooling a concen- 
trated solution below o°. J. Kolb has observed that carbonic acid 
decomposes chloride of lime, liberating hypochlorous acid and leaving 
calcium carbonate. The author has had a sample of chloride of lime, 
which was thus reduced from 25 per cent, to 7 per cent, actual chlor- 
ine, the amount of calcium carbonate having risen to over 40 per cent* 
The workmen can distinguish the hypochlorous acid from the 
chlorine by the slower action which the former exerts upon the lungs, 
and by its sweetish taste. — Jour. Chem. Soc. [Lond.], Dec, 1876, from 
Ding/. Polyt. J., ccxxi, 243-250. 

Am. Jour. Pharm. 
Feb., 1877. 

Ozokerit and Cere sin. 



By Dr. J. Grabowsky. 
{Read before the American Chemical Society, Oct. 5, 1876.) 

Ozokerit is found in Galicia (Austria) principally in Borislaw, near 
Drohobyez, and Dzwiniacz, near Stanistawow. Both places are 
situated at the northern foot of the Carpathian mountains ; the forma- 
tion is miocene, and of some importance on account of its petroleum 
springs. The production of " earth-wax " (ozokerit) was estimated to 
have amounted to about twenty million of kilograms in 1875, upwards 
of eighteen million of kilograms coming from Borislaw alone. Accord- 
ing to F. v. Hauer, the largest crystals of salts, which are found in 
connection with the ozokerit, as well as the saline springs in the 
petroleum-bearing strata, prove that these latter belong to the zone of 
the calcareous neogene formation. They contain the fluid oil as well 
as the solid " earth-wax " partly in more or less regular beds, partly in 
fissures and pockets. The exploitation is effected by means of shafts 
and tunnels, the former being from 40 to 80 meters deep and about 1 
meter square, the latter being generally quite short on account of the 
very primitive method of ventilation and the great amount of gases.. 
The shafts generally pass, first, through 8 to 10 meters of gravel mixed 
with boulders, then through blue loam and plastic clay, which contains 
numerous layers of marl, slate and sandstone. In this clay, usually at 
a depth of from 40 to 50 metres, petroleum springs and ozokerit are 
found. This latter forms lumps or layers from 1 to 3 feet thick, these 
lumps sometimes weighing several hundred kilograms. This native 
ozokerit is transparent, of pure honey-yellow color, possessing the 
hardness of common beeswax. More frequently, however, ozokerit 
is found in thin layers and small pieces, which must be separated from 
the gangue ; the smallest pieces are only obtained by a process of 

Besides pure, good " earth-wax," some varieties occur which are 
especially distinguished by hardness and color. 

The best " earth-wax " should have a pure yellow or greenish color, 
and be easy to knead between the fingers ; this, after having been 
tried (melted), yields a " prime " earth-wax, which is generally used 
for the manufacture of " ceresin." The poorer kinds are colored 
black, and either very soft (containing much petroleum) or too 
hard, resembling asphaltum, fusing at a high temperature. After trying, 


Ozokerit and Cere sin. 

Am. Jour. Pharm. 
Feb , 1877. 

these produce an " earth-wax " which is chiefly used for the manufac- 
ture of paraffin. 

Occasionally there are found pieces of ozokerit, which is very com- 
pact, as hard as gypsum, fuses above ioo° C, and is dichroitic (dark 
green in reflected and pure yellow in refracted light). 

The composition of ozokerit is best expressed by the formula C n H 2n . 
Very little is known about its formation. It appears to me to be very 
probable that it has to be considered as a product of the oxidation and 
condensation of petroleum hydrocarbons. Only lately we have seen 
that hydrocarbons, as, e. naphthalene, can form by oxidation not 
products containing oxygen, but dinaphthil : 

2C 10 H 8 +O=C 20 H u +H 2 O. 

By supposing a similar oxidation of hexan or octan, we obtain com- 
pounds of the formula C n H 2n , which again may condense with hydro- 
carbons of the marsh-gas series, and thus give rise to the formation of 
very complicated hydrocarbons of high melting point, e. g. : 

1 2 C 8 H 18 +0 2 =C 16 H 32 +2H 2 0. 

2 C 16 H 32 +C S H I8 +0=C 24 H 48 +H 2 0. 

By this hypothesis the formation of petroleum may be reduced to an 
oxidation of marsh-gas, and thus the close connection between ozokerit, 
petroleum and coal be explained in the most simple manner. 

As stated above, the crude ozokerit is separated from the gangue by 
melting, and worked into paraffin or ceresin. The trying is effected 
either by direct fire or by steam. In the former case the ozokerit is 
placed into iron kettles of about one and a half meter in diameter by 
one meter in height, melted, drawn off, and the residue boiled with 
water, when all the ozokerit will rise to the surface of the water. In 
the latter case the melting is done by steam in the same manner as with 
paraffin or stearin, and needs no further description. The tried ozokerit 
is clarified by allowing it to settle for several hours, and then poured 
into iron moulds. It is shipped in this form without any further 
packing, and in pieces of about fifty to sixty kilograms. 

There are, principally, two kinds of commercial ozokerit, prime 
and second. Prime u wax " ought to be as free as possible from earthy 
impurities, and in small, transparent, greenish brown to yellow pieces ; 
the lighter in color and the more transparent the better it is. " Second 
wax " is dark brown, almost apaque, occasionally containing a great 
deal of earthy impurities, and is generally much softer than the prime. 

Am. Jour. Pharm. ) 
Feb., 1877. J 

Ozokerit and Cere sin. 


Both are used for the manufacture of either paraffin and illuminating 
oils or ceresin. The manufacture of paraffin from ozokerit is 
effected by distillation over direct fire, from iron retorts, with flat 
bottoms, containing from 700 to 1,000 kilograms. The products of 
the distillation are : 

Benzin, . . . . 2 to 8 per cent. 

Naphtha, . . . 15 " 20 " 

Paraffin, . . . . 36 l < 50 

Heavy (lubricating) oils, . 15 " 20 " 

Coke, . . . . 10 " 20 " 

The paraffin is pressed, treated with sulphuric acid and caustic soda,, 
filtered through paper and fine animal charcoal, and manufactured into 
candles. The naphtha is purified in the usual way, and the heavy oils 
are sometimes subjected to fractional distillation, but mostly shipped as 
such to Vienna. 

The manufacture of ceresin consists of the removal of the impuri- 
ties from the " earth wax " by the aid of sulphuric acid and animal 
charcoal ; but only the best kinds of ozokerit are used. The different 
processes are kept secret, and are also protected by patents. In 
general, the ozokerit is melted with concentrated sulphuric acid and 
the residue from the manufacture of yellow prussiate, pressed, treated 
again with prussiate residue and filtered. 100 parts good prime " earth- 
wax " yield 60 to 70 parts white wax, which in its properties very 
closely resembles white beeswax and is called " ceresin." It is either 
further purified by repeated treatment with acid and prussiate residue, 
or colored with gamboge or alkanet, and thereby made to closely 
resemble common beeswax. In the manufacture of ceresin only sul- 
phurous acid and press residues are obtained, the former of which 
escapes into the air, but might be utilized, thus reducing the cost con- 
siderably. The consumption of sulphuric acid in Borislaw alone is 
said to amount to one million kilograms a year. The prussiate 
residues are obtained from the lixiviation of the crude prussiate in 

The finely divided animal charcoal seems to be the active agent,, 
since a fair ceresin may be obtained by simply treating commercial 
"earth wax" with bone char and concentrated sulphuric acid. 

Comparatively only a small quantity of earth-wax is worked in 
Galicia ; it is shipped principally to England, Moravia and Vienna, 

7 8 An Artificial Substitute for Beeswax. { Am v J e °b u "'i 7 h 7 arrn ' 

The ceresin is exported in large quantities to Russia, where it is sold 
as beeswax ; for this purpose it is melted together with a little beeswax, 
in order to impart to it the characteristic odor. Good ceresin is hardly 
to be distinguished from beeswax ; the best methods are the following : 

1. Ceresin is not as easily kneaded between the fingers, and becomes 
brittle more readily than beeswax. This test is, however, doubtful, if 
the sample consists of a mixture of the two. 

2. Ceresin is scarcely attacked by warm concentrated sulphuric acid, 
whereas beeswax is completely destroyed by it. Bv this test the 
quantities of beeswax and ceresin can be determined in a mixture of 

in many cases ceresin can be employed in the place of beeswax. 
It it sold at from 32 to 40 dollars per 100 kilograms in Vienna, whereas 
the price of the commercial earth-wax varies from 10 to 12 dollars per 

100 kilograms. 

The whole exploitation of the ozokerit, on account of the want of 
enterprising men, is in the hands of the Jewish population. It is very 
imperfect, and necessarily requires many changes in the mining laws. — 

Amer. Chem., Oct., 1876, 


By Gustay Hell. 

The author relates that a short time ago an article was offered for 
yellow beeswax, which, on account of the moderate price, sold largely, 
and which he has determined to be entirely factitious. The appear- 
ance of this false wax is almost identical with that of genuine beeswax. 
In color, brittleness, fracture and adhesiveness, the difference is very 
slight. On the outer surface the characteristic honey-like smell, 
although faint, was distinctly perceptible. The freshly-cut surface, 
however, has not the same lustre as in genuine wax, and the freshly- 
fractured surfaces give a marked pitchy odor. Melted at a gentle heat 
the smell of honey is lost, and the pitchy odor asserts itself in an 
unmistakable manner ; at a stronger heat it becomes intense, and persists 
for a long time. Having ascertained in this simple manner that the 
article in question was one containing a considerable proportion of pitch, 
the melting point and specific gravity were determined in the usual 
way, as follows : A glass flask, with a wide mouth, was three-fourths 
filled with water, and a test tube containing small pieces of wax and a 
1 4< Pharm. Post," July 1, 1876, p. 218. 

Am, F T eb a "'i8 7 h 7 arm *} An Artificial Substitute for Beeswax. 79 

thermometer was sunk to the centre of the flask, and the latter lightly 
closed. The contents of the flask were then slowly warmed by means 
of a spirit lamp. When about a third of the wax was melted, the 
mercury in the thermometer stood at 70 C. This temperature indi- 
cated, therefore, the melting point of the wax. For the determination 
of the specific gravity two similar pieces of wax were allowed to sink 
in diluted spirit of wine, contained in a beaker, and distilled water was 
added, little by little, and mixed well with the spirit until the pieces 
floated just beneath the surface of the fluid. The specific gravity of 
this fluid was then determined. This was 0*962, which was taken as 
the gravity of the wax under examination. 

In the further examination 1 gram was warmed with 10 grams of 
chloroform in a small flask. The solution was clear and yellow, but 
soon became turbid ou cooling, and an almost transparent, colorless, 
serous mass separated, more particularly upon the walls of the flask. 
Afterwards 1 gram was dissolved in 15 grams of 70 per cent, alcohol 
by boiling, and allowed to cool. In the clear yellow-colored solution 
round and half-round colorless granules were deposited. These were 
recovered by filtration, dried in the air and weighed ; six decigrams 
were thus obtained. The specific gravity of these granules was 0*910. 
The filtrate was evaporated at a gentle heat, and left as residue a brittle 
resin of a beautiful dark-yellow color, weighing about four decigrams. 
Further, one gram of the wax in raspings was boiled, and well shaken 
in a solution of 1*4 gram borax in 20 grams of distilled water. A 
colorless mass separated on the surface of the liquid in the vessel. 
The liquid was turbid, but on cooling was neither milky nor gelatinous ; 
Japan wax was therefore not present. The same experiment was made 
with the granules free from resin. This time the fluid remained clear 
during boiling and when cooled. The granules united into a cake at 
the top of the fluid. A sample in fine shavings was then agitated with 
diluted ammonia solution ; a portion of the residue above mentioned, 
free from resin, was also treated with ammonia. In both cases the 
fluid remained clear and transparent, and the samples unchanged, indi- 
cating the absence not only of stearin, but also of curcumin and olein. 
The granular body quite free from resin, which, according to the above 
tests, contained neither stearin nor Japan wax, was now tested for 
paraffin. It had a lustrous appearance and alabaster-like transparency, 
yielded between the fingers without adhering, and dissolved easily and 


Laboratory Notes. 

J Am. Jour. Pharm- 
( Feb., 1877. 

completely in oil of turpentine and benzin, but not at all in five parts* 
of absolute alcohol. 

The examination carried out and described as above should be clearly 
understood to set up a claim to be exact and exhaustive. It shows the 
object to be determined, viz., that this product bought and sold for 
beeswax was no other than a mixture of about 60 per cent, of paraffin 
and 40 per cent, of common resin, run into cakes, and thinly covered 
with genuine beeswax. The examination shows also that the specific 
gravity alone is not sufficient for the detection of adulteration in wax„ 
and that a product perfectly corresponding in this respect with genuine 
wax may nevertheless be entirely factitious and useless. — The Chem* 
and Drug., Lond., Nov. 15, 1876. 


By T. A. Edison. 

1. Hard rubber or vulcanite, placed for several weeks in nitrobenzol^ 
becomes soft and pliable like leather, and easily broken. 

2. The vapor of chloral hydrate is a solvent of cellulose. I have 
found the corks of bottles containing the crystals eaten away to the 
depth of a quarter of an inch, the cork being resolved into a black semi- 
liquid. Certain kinds of tissue paper are partially dissolved in time, if 
thrown in a bottle containing the crystals. 

3. A very difficult substance to dissolve is gum copal. I have found 
that anilin oil dissolves it with great facility. 

4. Hyposulphite of soda is apparently soluble to a considerable extent 
in spirit of turpentine. Large crystals of " hypo " melt down to a 
liquid after several weeks, and if the bottle be shaken, partially dis- 
appear. The turpentine smell nearly disappears. 

5. The vapors of iodine, in the course of several months, will pen- 
etrate deeply into lumps of beeswax. 

6. If to a solution of bisulphide of carbon there be added twice its 
bulk of potassic hydrate in sticks, and the bottle be well sealed, the 
whole will, in two months, become an intense reddish, syrupy liquid,, 
with scarcely any free bisulphide of carbon. 

7. Some substances in solution form crystals or deposits on the sides 
of the bottles containing them, generally above the water line. Among 
such solution in 100 cc. of rain water may be mentioned a 14-gram 

Am. Jour. Pharm. ) 
Feb., 1877. j 


solution of acetate of uranium, 8-gram do. of proto-acetate of copper. 
5-gram do. of acetate of morphia, 10-gram do. of formate of copper, 
20-gram do. of tannate of iron. These deposits invariably take place 
on that part of the bottle most exposed to light. This phenomenon may 
be due to heat, but deposits or films occur in some solutions within the 
liquid as well as above it — especially noticeable with tannate of iron, the 
film of which adheres strongly to glass. — Amer. Chem., Oct., 1876. 
Menlo Park, N. J., Nov. 10, 1876. 


Ergot for Hypodermic Use. — At the last meeting of the American Pharmaceu- 
tical Association, Mr. D. Benjamin stated that a liquid preparation of ergot, 
prepared by the following formula, had been used with advantage by several physi- 
cians, among others by Profs. Agnew and Goodell, of the University of Pennsyl- 
vania : Two troyounces of powdered ergot are exhausted by 8 fluidounces of 
strong alcohol, the tincture is evaporated, at a low temperature, to 2 fluidounces ; 
when cold, mixed with 6 fluidounces of water, filtered, again carefully evaporated 
to two fluidounces, and preserved by the addition of 3 grains of salicylic acid. 
Mr. Benjamin has, since then, evaporated the liquid to one fluidounce and added two 
grains of salicylic acid for preservation. 

Ergot for Hypodermic Injection. —Having been requested to devise a suitable 
preparation of ergot for the above purpose, H. P. Madsen, in default of Dragen- 
dorfPs sclerotic acid, dissolved the officinal extract of ergot in equal weight of 
diluted alcohol (0-890), filtered, after 3 day's repose, and evaporated to sp. gr. 1*25. 
The liquid is now accurately saturated with carbonate of sodium and is ready for 
use. (Extr. of ergot, " Ph. Dan.," is made by exhausting with water, evaporating 
to syrupy consistency, mixing with diluted alcohol [0*890], filtering and evaporating 
to extract consistency). — H. M. W. from Ny Pharm. Tid., 1876, p. 372. 

Gregory's Syphon Filter.— (" Proceedings Am. Phar. Ass.," 1876, p. 56.) Mr. 
G. cautions against too strong suction, lest the filtering paper be broken. This 
can be prevented by first stretching a piece of not too fine muslin over the tube, 
and over the muslin tying the filtering paper. Be the suction ever so strong, the 
paper will be prevented, by the muslin, from being stretched to breaking. 

Hans M. Wilder. 

Diaetheralysis of Legrip.— [Ibid., p. 61.) This is nothing new, at least the 
writer cannot find any difference between Legrip's method and that of Pierlot 
("Am. Jour, of Phar.," 1862 [xxxiv], p. 544.) Hans M. Wilder. 




f Am Jour. Pharm. 
t Feb., 1877. 

lamination of Nostrums. — The " Peninsular Journal" gives, from the analysis 

- jf Jos. J. Pierron, Ph C, the following as the approximate composition of some 
popular nostrums : 

■Perry Davis' Pain Killer. — In a bottle sold for a dollar : Spirit of camphor, 
■.about f^ii ; tinct. of capsicum, about f^i; guaiac, 5SS 5 alcohol, f "3 III 5 myrrh and 


Rad-Mafs Ready Relief. — In a half-dollar bottle : Soap liniment, about f^iss ; 
elect, of capsicum, fsjss ; water of ammonia, f^ss 5 alcohol, f^ss. 

Flaggs Relief. — In a bottle sold for half a dollar : Oil of cloves, about fgi ; oil 
of sassafras, fjii ; spirit of camphor, f^iss. 

Chamberlain's Relief. — In a bottle sold for thirty-five cents (approximately) : 
Tinct. of capsicum, f^i ; spirit of camphor, fajf , guaiac, 3^; color tincture, to 
.make two fluidounces. 

Hamlin s Wizard Oil. — In a bottle sold for a dollar there are (in approximate 
[{proportion) : Spirit of camphor, f^i 3 spirit of ammonia, f^ss 5 oil of sassafras, 
v:s; oil of cloves, fgii 3 chloroform, f 3 ss 5 oil of turpentine, f^ss 5 alcohol, to 
tsmakc about five fluidounces. 

Kellogg s Red Drops. — A bottle, sold for half a dollar, contains (in approximate 
quantities): Spirit of camphor, f^ii ; spirit of origanum, f§ij oil of sassafras, 
'-o* 5 °^ °€ turpentine, fgss ; color tincture, to make three and a fourth fluidounces. 

Substitution of Bromide of Cadmium for Bromide of Ammonium. — Dr. G. A. 

Wheeler, of Castine, Me., reports the cases of two ladies, who were poisoned by 
making some salt from a bottle which had the label of Wm. Conrad, Paris, with the 
designation, bromure cCammonium. After several hours' suffering, both patients, 
having been treated with white of egg, sweet oil, milk, etc., gradually recovered. 

/Prof. Carmichael, of Bowdoin College, established the identity of the salt with 
cadmium bromide. Evidently the wrong label had been attached to the bottle at 

, the factory. — Bost. Med. and Surg. Jour., Oct. 12, 1876. 

•On fhe Decomposition of Solution of Iodide of Potassium. By M. Bastaudier. 

The author has experimented with a view of testing the conclusion to which 

other observers have come, that the decomposition noticed in a solution of iodide of 
potassium is due to solar light, and in no degree to the influence of the atmosphere. 
.According to him, this conclusion is not sound. He finds that the solution in ques- 
tion is not affected by the solar rays when air is excluded 5 is scarcely affected by 
:he same in an atmosphere of oxygen and nitrogen only, but is decomposed to 
varying extents in ordinary air containing traces of acids, particularly carbonic acid. 
This result^vnay be due to the liberation of hydriodic acid. — Chemist and Druggist 
[Lend.], Dec. 15, 1876, from Jour, de Pharm. et de Chim., Sept., 1876. 

Oil of Aleuritis triloba. By Dr. C. Oxamendi. — The Aleuritis triloba is a large 
euphorbiaceous tree, growing between the tropics, and particularly in India, where 
at is called by the English candle tree or candleberry. The oil is known in Ceylon 
as 'kekune. According to Griffith, the fruits are employed as aphrodisiacs, being 

Am. Jour. Pharm. 1 
Feb., 1877, J 



taken in small quantity in the fresh state. M. Bouchardat attributes to the oil valu- 
able purgative properties 5 the dose is 30 grams, or even (as M. Retano de Gre- 
■sandy states) 60 grams. M. Oxamendi confirms these observations as regards the 
purgative properties of the oil, but is of opinion that 15 grams is a dose sufficiently 
large for an adult, and 8 grams for a child. The effects on the intestines are the 
same as those of castor oil. It is not at all disagreeable to take, and has a nutty 
taste. It acts in about three hours without producing pain or colic. M. Oxamendi 
thinks that the action is due to a special resin. He recommends the following 
mixture : 


Oil of Aleuritis triloba, . . . 15 

Powdered gum arabic, . . . .12 

Water, . . . . . . .12 

White sugar, . . . . .15 

— Ibid., from Jour, de Therap. 

Albuminate of Santonin and Sodium.— According to Pavesi, a combination 
of santonin and of bicarbonate of sodium with soluble albumen forms a valuable 
vermifuge. The preparation is made in the following manner : 1 part of santonin, 
4 parts of sodium bicarbonate and 2 parts of dried soluble albumen are warmed 
with a sufficient quantity of water at 6o° to 70 until all are dissolved, and then 
evaporated to dryness at a very gentle heat. The albuminate .of santonin and 
sodium forms brilliant white scales, soluble in water. The mineral acids precipitate 
santonin and albumen, with disengagement of carbonic acid. The reasons for 
which Pavesi gives the preference to this combination over the use of santonin 
alone are the following : The after effects of santonin, among others, that of 
yellowness of vision, are entirely obviated. The preparation is not decomposed in 
the stomach, because the bicarbonate of sodium in the combination retains the 
santonin in solution, the coagulation of the albumen is prevented, gently purgative 
Godiurn salts are introduced into the body, and finally, by the disengagement of a 
small quantity of carbonic acid, an active digestion is produced. 

The properties claimed for this preparation should be examined by more extended 
researches. — Chemist and Druggist [Lond.], Nov. 15, 1876, from Jour, de Pharm. 
de Genc<ve, July 5, 1876. 

Volumetric Estimation of Alcohol. By T. T. Monell. — If a cobalt salt be added 
to an alcoholic solution of sulpho-cyanide of ammonium, a deep blue coloration 
is produced which suddenly vanishes on dilution with water, and re-appears on fur- 
ther addition of alcohol. Given the same volume, spirit of a certain percentage 
always gives precisely the same intensity of color with a standard blue solution in 
whichever order alcohol or water may be added. It is possible in this way to deter- 
mine quickly by a volumetric process even so little as one- fourth per cent, of alcohol 
in a mixture. A measured quantity of the dark blue standard fluid is placed in a 
cylinder, and a mixture to be tested is added, until the color is reduced to that of a 
strip of pale blue glass; the volume of this pale colored fluid will be the greater as 
the mixture is richer in alcohol. This volume, once determined, will always remain 

84 Minutes of the Pharmaceutical Meeting, {^3?;$%"*' 

the same, and the percentage noted on the cylinder may afterwards be read off with- 
out further trouble. The standard fluid is always prepared with the spirit of the 
same strength and compared with the same strip of blue glass. The nitrate of co- 
balt is the salt found most convenient for this purpose. Colored brandy may be 
tested directly ; in this case the tint is not blue, however, but green. Two cylinders* 
are therefore necessary, one for the test and one to give the desiied tint in conjunc- 
tion with the blue glass. The cobalt solution may be either neutral or slightly acid,, 
but should contain as little water as possible. — Chemist and Druggist [Lond.], Dec* 
15, 1876, from Amer. Chemist. 


January 16th, 1877. 

The meeting was called to order by the President, Dillwyn Parrish. In the 
absence of the Registrar, A. W. Miller was appointed to act in his place. 

Prof. Maisch presented the 24th annual volume of the Proceedings of the Ameri- 
can Pharmaceutical Association, which was accepted with the thanks of the Collegc. 

Prof. Remington presented on behalf of Jos. J. Brown, now in California, some 
very handsome specimens of Eucalyptus globulus, having fruits and flowers attached 
to them. 

A. W. Miller read a paper on adulterations (see page 57), giving the method 
by which the so-called Oregon balsam of fir had been manufactured, a specimen of 
which was presented. Prof. Maisch expressed satisfaction in having the source of 
this article cleared up. He stated that his previous experiments had convinced him 
that it was a fictitious combination of rosin and turpentine, but that he had not 
been able to recognize the flavoring ingredient. Prof. Maisch remarked that years 
ago itinerant venders had sold either pure salicin or mixture of salicin and quinia 
in proportions adjusted to the price realized, in various sections of the United States, 
under the garb of pure sulphate of quinia. He also spoke of the occasional adultera- 
tion of balsam of copaiba with castor oil, which is not very readily recognized, both 
being soluble in alcohol. Prof. Wayne had suggested the use of petroleum benzin, 
as this dissolves copaiba quite readily, but castor oil very sparingly. This test is, 
however, fallacious, as mixtures of equal parts of castor oil and copaiba dissolve 
freely in benzin. A more reliable method is to distil off the essential oil, and then 
to examine the residue. Pure copaiba makes a transparent mixture with aqua 
ammonia?, while castor oil will be indicated by a soapy appearance. The paper 
was then referred to the editor. 

Prof. Maisch read a lengthy paper on the use of the metrical system in prescrip- 
tions (see page 49). He exhibited copies of the Greek and Mexican pharmaco- 
poeias ; of the new appendix to the "Swiss Pharmacopoeia of "Dorvault's 
TOfficine" and of the Pharmaceutical journals " Revista Pharmacia" and "La. 
Emulation," in all of which weights are employed, as indicated in the paper. 

Am Fe b u ''i8 7 h 7 arm '} Minutes of the Pharmaceutical Meeting. 85 

James T. Shinn desired to know what means were adopted in Europe in order 
to dispense with the use of graduated measures in prescriptions. PrOf. Maisch 
informed him that a special scale, one beam of which is often furnished with a 
rider, is usually reserved for this purpose. After the vial has been tared, the pre- 
scribed liquids are then weighed directly in it. 

A communication from Hans M. Wilder was also read, advising a recalculation 
of the pharmacopoeia quantities into parts by weight, and suggesting that it 
be left optional with physicians to prescribe either in grams alone or by grams 
and cubic centimeters, just so that they indicate it plain and legible. He 
called special attention to the necessity of great care in the marking of the 
decimal point, the position of which may 'often be a matter of life and death, 
as far as the patient is concerned. Prof. Maisch stated that the same subject 
will claim the attention of the New York College of Pharmacy this week. 
Dr. Pile expressed a fear that it would prove difficult for physicians to adjust 
their doses by weight, on account of the differences in the specific gravity of liquids. 
Prof. Maisch replied that practically only three classes of liquids deserved con- 
sideration in this connection, namely, water, syrups weighing one-third heavier, and 
oils weighing one-tenth less than water ; with most tinctures and fluid extracts, if 
prescribed as if they were of the same specific gravity as water, the difference would 
hardly be greater than the increase in bulk by dissolving solids, which physicians 
have very generally overlooked, but in those cases, where great exactness is desired 
and the precise size of the patient's teaspoon or tablespoon is known, the difficulty 
can be overcome by the addition of an adjuvant to make up a designated quantity. 
In answer to an inquiry, Prof. Maisch stated that several American medical socie- 
ties had recently advised their members to use the metric system in prescribing. 

James T. Shinn thought that the looseness of physicians in the matter of doses 
justified the retention of the present system of measuring liquids as a matter of 
convenience. Prof. Maisch regarded the appliances for weighing in pharmacies as 
productive of far more accurate results than the present means used by druggists 
for measuring. He considered the uniformity of the metric system all over the 
world as the most important argument for its introduction. Even in comparatively 
narrow glass tubes there is so much liability to error in reading off the space occu- 
pied by the liquid which is measured, that in analytical work a special indicator is 
made use of so as to reduce the apparent variation to its minimum. This error is 
enormously augmented in proportion as the diameter of the surface of the liquid 
increases. E. M. Boring alluded to another error due to capillary attraction in 
tubes of narrow diameter. 

A. W. Miller suggested that physicians might write a formula for one single 
dose, leaving the adjustment of the diluent to the pharmacist, in order to make 
up the conventional teaspoon or tablespoonful dose. The physician could then 
readily prescribe any convenient number of doses by the usual subscription : 
Misce tales doses no. . All the much dreaded labor of calculation and adjust- 
ment would thus be thrown on the druggist, who has certainly more leisure to 
do it carefully and accurately in the seclusion of his prescription department than 
the physician at the bedside of the patient. 

86 Minutes of the Pharmaceutical Meeting. {^'j^^?™' 

Prof. Remington referred to the action of the last committee on the revision 
of the " Pharmacopoeia," who had received positive instructions to abolish all 
measures of capacity, but on account of the obstinacy of some of their members, 
retained the majority of them. He saw no possible way of evading the issue, 
and therefore advocated taking the step at once, and doing it completely, with- 
out resorting to any half-way measures. He thought it wrong to wait for phy- 
sicians to make a beginning. Prof. Maisch enumerated the various nations 
who had adopted the metric system for use in medicine, showing that it was 
already in use on nearly the whole continent of Europe, in all of civilized America^ 
excepting the United States and Canada, and in the empire of Japan. According 
to information obtained by him from the medical attaches of the Japanese 
Commission during the late Exposition, the entire system of medical and phar- 
maceutical instruction in Japan is modeled after the German method ; they 
even use the same Latin terms and pronounce them in accordance with the usage 
prevalent in Germany, and use the French weights exclusively. 

Prof. Remington exhibited a small copper still, invented by E. T. Prentiss, of 
this city, who calls it an alcohol reclaimer. It is intended chiefly for strengthening 
and purifying alcohol, for which purpose a column is connected with it containing 
a number of perforated diaphragms, through which the vapor is compelled to pass. 
Prof, Remington had tried the still, and had found that the strength of alcohol 
could be increased to a certain degree by inserting a thermometer and keeping the 
liquid continuously at a low temperature. The price of the still was stated to be 
$15.00. E. M. Boring expressed a fear that all the present stills, when used 
merely for recovering the alcohol, required too high a temperature and thus injured 
the product, for which reason he was in the habit of simply evaporating the 
alcohol without attempting to recover it. A. W. Miller suggested that the same 
still could be readily modified so as to dispense with the column whenever it was 
desirable to do so ; a low temperature could then be maintained by the use of a 

Dillwyn Parrish presented Japanese persimmons, preserved in sugar, for inspec- 
tion. They were of very large size, and resembled in appearance the sugared fruits, 
sold by confectioners. 

Prof. Remington presented some very valuable specimens donated to the College 
by the late Prof. Joseph Carson shortly before his decease. Some of the articles 
were specially intended for the Cabinet, having formerly been used by Prof. Car- 
son in illustrating his lectures at the College. The specimens embrace genuine 
Sumatra camphor, from Dryobalanops camphora, obtained by Prof. Carson through 
a relative in the East ; pure Burgundy pitch, nutmegs preserved in alcohol, Japanese 
camphor, Chinese calomel in the form of flat crystals, hog gum from Jamaica^ 
Japanese tobacco, varieties of India opium from Malwa, Benares and Patna ; also, 
a cake of Smyrna opium, well freighted with bullets. The most valuable acquisi- 
tion of all consisted in a very beautiful Chinese pipe for smoking opium. The 
stem of the pipe is completely covered with real tortoise-shell, and an ivory mouth- 
piece is fitted to it. The pipe is furnished with four earthenware bowls, an alcohol 
lamp of peculiar construction, several boxes of extra choice opium and a number of 
curious instruments intended for cleaning the pipe. The process of smoking the 

Am *Fe°b U %877. nn '} Pharmaceutical Colleges and Associations, Sj- 

drug was illustrated by Prof. Remington. On motion, the Registrar was directed' 
to acknowledge the donation, and to express the thanks of the College to Prof, 
Carson's family. 

Prof. Remington called attention to the handsome case of specimens received 
from F. Crace Calvert & Co., of England, to be divided between the University of 
Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. Owing to the lateness of 
the hour, the examination of the specimens was postponed to the next meeting, , 
when additional donations from the Austrian, English, Dutch and Italian Depart - 
ments of the Exposition will also be ready for inspection. 

Adolph W. Miller, Registrar pro. Urn, 


The Massachusetts College of Pharmacy has met with a very serious fos9 hy 
fire. Since the beginning of the present year the College had occupied the- third' 
floor of the Mayhew School Building, on Hawkins street, in Boston, which was 
erected in 1847, and was abandoned for school purposes in June last. The second 
floor was unoccupied, and the ground floor was fitted up for the ward-room ot 
Ward 7. The lecture-room of the College was about 30x50 feet, and' around It 
stood cases containing the specimens of drugs and chemicals, all of which were 
destroyed. A lecture was delivered on the evening of January zzd, and & fire was- 
left in the two fuinaces in the basement as was customary. The fire, which was 
discovered about 3 o'clock the next morning, began, it appears, by thehofc-air pipes- 
directly over the furnaces, and ran upwards to the front rooms of the seaond and: 
third floors, and through the cold-air boxes placed between the two floors- to tha 
rear part of the building, where less damage was done. 

The accommodations were given to the College by the city of Boston,, the owner 
of the building. The total loss to the College is estimated at about $£,00.0,. which 
is but partially covered by insurance. 

We sincerely hope that our friends will not be dismayed by this sudden' Ibss, but 
that they may succeed in making temporary arrangements for the present,, so as to 
continue the current course to its close. The losses, though serious^, we trust are 
not irreparable, and the hearty good will and the determined energy for- which the 
Boston pharmacists and druggists are known, will overcome them. 

The Boston Druggists' Association held its annual meeting and banquet or. the 
afternoon and evening of January 24th, when the following officers were elected :: 

President, William J. Cutler, of the firm of Cutler Bros. & Co. ; Vice Presidents.. 
Dr. Thomas L. Jenks and Nathaniel J. Rust, of Rust Bros. & Bird j Secretary.,. 
William F. Horton, of Cheney, Myrick, Hobbs & Co. ; Treasurer,, SI A.. D, Shep - 
pard, of S. A. D. Sheppard & Co. 

88 Pharmaceutical Colleges and Associations. { Am F J e b U , r 'i87 7 arm 

At the banquet the newly-elected President occupied the head of the table, and 
on either side of him were seated Mr. Theodore Metcalf, the retiring President, 
and Mr. Daniel Henchman, a gentleman between eighty and ninety years of age, 
v.ho has been engaged in the trade longer than any other man in Boston, and is the 
e ldest living druggist in the State. In 1802 he first got hold of the pestle and mortar, 
and in 18 14 went into business where he is now located, at the corner of Chamber 
and Cambridge streets, no alteration having been made in the place during that period. 

Alumni Association of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. — The stated 
monthly meeting was held January 4th, 1877, President Kennedy in the chair, 43 
jnembers present. 

Thirty specimens of crude drugs, chemicals and pharmaceutical preparations 
t ere submitted for the examination of the students, and excited much interest, being, 
as a rule, recognized by the majority. They were donated to the Alpha Phi Society. 

Dr. Miller stated that white lead was used as an adulteration for rubber used in 
the manufacture of nipples, tubing, etc., and suggested possible lead poisoning. He 
had heard it stated that as much as 80 per cent, was known to have been used. 

Mr. Kennedy advised the use of a small quantity of Haematoxylon in making 
tincture of kino, as it prevented the subsequent gelatinization. Mr. Boring used 
alcohol as a menstruum, with a similar result. 

It was stated that Miss Clara Marshall, a former student of the College, had 
recently been elected to the chair of Pharmacy in the Women's Medical College 
of this city — lecturing Wednesdays at 12 M , and Thursdays and Saturdays at 
u A.M. Wallace Procter, Secretary. 

Cincinnati College of Pharmacy. — At the regular meeting, held January 10th, 
the following officers were elected to serve for the ensuing year : President, Dr. R. 
M. Byrnes ; Vice President, Dr. T. L. A. Greve ; Recording Secretary, A. W. 
j^ain ; Corresponding Secretary, Louis Schwab 5 Treasurer, Chas. Faust 5 Trustees, 
Dr. T. L. A Greve, F. L. Eaton, H. H. Koehnken, John Weyer. 

The Society of the Apothecaries of Berlin held a meeting November 21st, 
1876, Dr. Schacht in the chair. Mr. Schering called attention to the increasing 
demand of Jiydrobr ornate of quinia for subcutaneous injections, for which purpose its 
absolute freedom from barium bromide is necessary. The quinia salt is soluble in 
50 parts of cold water 5 but a supersaturated solution which will keep for some time 
mzy be prepared by dissolving the salt in 5 parts of hot water, and adding gradually 
jo to 12 parts of water. 

He also spoke of dialyzed salicylic acid, which is entirely freed from uncrystal- 
Jhable impurities by dialysis, and yields pure and stable compounds. Salicylate oj 
■zinc, made with such an acid, is readily obtained in handsome white crystals. 
Salicylate of sodium, in voluminous white crystalline scales, which, in contact with 
air, neither become moist or reddish or acquire the odor of carbolic acid j its solu- 
tions in water and alcohol are clear, neutral and remain unaltered if protected against 

Am 'fci87 7 " m '} Pharmaceutical Colleges and Essociations. 89 

Mr. Arnd spoke on the examination of fixed and volatile oils by means of Abbe's 
refractometer, whereby differences are detected which are scarcely observable by 
means of the polariscope, two or three drops of the liquid being required for the 
test. Artificial oil of mustard was found to have a refraction of 1*5275 and a dis- 
persion of 1 5 , while the volatile oil obtained from the seed had a refraction of 
3-5325 and a dispersion of 17 . For expressed oil of almonds the refraction was 
found to be 1*9705 and the dispersion 15*5° 5 for oil of poppy seed 1*9753 and 15 . 
The refractometer, which is easily handled, has been constructed by Prof. Abbe, ot 

' Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. — At the Pharmaceutical meeting held 
December 6, a note by Samuel Elliott was read, suggesting a glyceritum croci, for 
which the following formula was given : Saffron 1 drachm, glycerin 9 fluid- 
ounces. Mix and macerate for seven days ; pour off the bright liquor ; press the 
remainder through calico into another vessel, and again strain it ; mix the two 
liquors and make up the whole to 9 fluidounces with glycerin. Its odor is much 
■stronger than that of syrup of saffron. 

Mr. Greenish referred to the astonishing power of glycerin of retaining various 
-substances in solution, which were not precipitated after a time as from tinctures and 
syrups. Mr. Greenish had made a preparation of saffron in glycerin some 18 months 
ago which had kept uncommonly well. 

For the preparation of Hydrargyrum cum cretd, Mr. A. Bottle proposed a deviation 
from the " Pharmacopoeia *' process to the extent of substituting for the slow process 
•of trituration in a mortar active agitation in a wide-mouth glass bottle, by which 
means the B. P. quantity (3 oz.) may be prepared and the metal minutely sub- 
divided, with an expenditure of very little, if any, more time and labor than is 
required to be devoted to the preparation of a tincture. (Essentially the same 
process was suggested by W. H. Hewson, of Augusta, Ga., and published by Dr. E. 
J. Coxe, of New Orleans, in " Amer. Jour. Phar ," 1850, p. 3175 see also a paper 
by W. W. Stoddart in "Pharmac. Jour, and Transact.," 1856, January 1). 

Mr. C. L. Betty read a paper on Oleate of bismuth, stating that one part of oxide 
of bismuth is ground very fine and four parts of oleic acid are gradually incorporated 
with it. The mixture being placed in a suitable vessel, is subjected to a temperature 
of nearly its boiling point, then allowed to digest, with frequent agitation, at a 
temperature of about 6o° during four days, or until it solidifies. The result is 
pharmaceutical^, a plaster, which melts readily in contact with the skin, is bland 
to excoriated surfaces and penetrating by its limpidity. Further experiments will be 
necessary to prove the most reliable mode of its manufacture, as under apparently 
similar conditions results have not hitherto been uniform. 

Mr. John Williams read a paper on some reactions of the glycerol of nitrate of 
bismuth (see " Amer. Jour. Phar.," 1877, P- 2 3)- A solution of 20 per cent, of 
crystallized nitrate of bismuth, in glycerin, may be made, and is best effected in the 
cold ; if much heat is employed the glycerol, when diluted with water, will make 
a milky solution, at any rate after a few hours. The property of bearing dilution 
with water, without producing a turbid solution, appears to diminish by keeping. 



Am. Jour. Phann, 
Feb., 1877 

The diluted solution does not bear boiling, but, when so treated, deposits a basic 
salt, not afterwards soluble in water. The most interesting reaction is that caustic 
potassa or soda, added to the solution, diluted with water, causes a white precipitate, 
which is perfectly soluble in the alkali, but not in ammonia, the solution being 
miscible with water in all proportions, but yields a white precipitate with alcohol, 
which is not again soluble in water ; by boiling a somewhat colored precipitate is 
obtained. Glycerin appears to play a part somewhat similar to that taken by citric 
acid in the liquor of the " British Pharmacopoeia, 1 ' or to tartaric acid, and probably 
other organic acids which will afford solutions with bismuth. 

Mr. W. Martindale read a paper on crystallized hyoscyamia, in which it is stated 
that the apparently amoiphous hyoscyamia of the London market is, in reality, 
minutely crystalline ; he also gives Thibaut's process for obtaining the alkaloid 
crystallized (see "Proceedings Amer. Phar. Ass.," 1876, p. 354), and mention* 
some observations affirming the prolonged action of the alkaloid on the pupil. 

Mr. A. W. Gerrard reported on eight samples of glycerin, one of which con- 
tained lead and butyric acid, and of the remaining seven four might be termed good,, 
while the other three upon being burnt gave evidence sufficient to warrant him in 
characterizing them as very impure and unfit for medicine or domestic use. 

Mr. Gerrard also reported of a crystalline deposit from tincture of galls, which he 
found to answer to the description given in " Watt's Dictionary" of the characters 
of ellagic acid. 

Mr. J. C. Thresh read a note on Capsaicin, the active principle of Cayenne 
pepper, which he purified by dissolving in potassa solution, precipitating by carbonic 
acid, and dissolving the washed and dried precipitate in hot petroleum, from which 
it crystallized after several days. The crystals were dissolved in alcohol, the solu- 
tion diluted with water and spontaneously evaporated until crystals were obtained , 
which, analyzed by Dr. Buri, of Strassburg, gave results agreeing with the empirical 
formula C 9 H u 2 . 


Conversion of Apothecaries' into Gram Weights. — Most of our readers are 
aware that within a few years the metric system of weights and measures has been 
introduced in many of the European countries. In medicine and pharmacy the 
change had to be effected gradually, principally on account of the older practi- 
tioners, who had become so habituated to the use of the old apothecaries' weights, 
that, for them, it was difficult to change suddenly to the new system. The burden 
of the labor was, therefore, in Germany, thrown upon the pharmacist, and, by a 
decree of the Minister of Ecclesiastic, Educational and Medical Affairs, bearing 
date of August 29, 1867, it was ordered that from and after the first day of January 
following every prescription sent to a pharmacy had to be prepared by the use of 
the metric weights, while the physician was allowed to prescribe either by the old 
or new system. A table, a copy of which is now before us, was authoritatively 
published at the same time, according to which the pharmacist was required to con- 

Am. Jour. Pharm. 1 
Feb., 1877. / 



vert the grains and ounces into grams, and indicate these values upon the prescription, 
so that, upon repetition, it could always be compounded alike. It seems to us that 
by a concerted action between the national medical and pharmaceutical associations 
a similar arrangement might be made, and, after agreeing upon a table of values,, 
from a certain fixed date, apothecaries might be required to dispense all prescription,'* 
by the metric weight only, without regard to the values indicated in the prescrip- 
tion. By following such a course the older physicians would gradually accustom 
themselves to the change, and, after a while, prescribe as readily by metric weights 
alone as they now use troy weights and wine measure. At the present time, and 
more particularly since the publication of the German " Pharmacopoeia," in 1872,, 
we have been informed that physicians, in Germany, may be said to prescribe solely 
in the metric system, the younger members of the medical profession having been 
educated in it, and those previously in practice having gradually acquired the 
knowledge and habit of prescribing by grams. 

The table, as promulgated in Prussia, is not applicable to the weights used in 
this country, since the apothecaries 1 pound in that country equalled only 350*761 
grams, while the troy pound weighs 373-202 grams, or, in other words, one troy 
ounce is equal to 510*68 (instead of 480) Prussian grains. In the few extracts 
which we give from this table our main object is to show that the rounding off of 
the values, by conversion into another system of weights, has not been considered 
to be productive of such serious results as has been suggested probable in this, 
country, by the adoption of a similar course. 

The fractions of a grain and its multiples, up to 15 grains, were calculated by 
taking the weight of the grain to be = *o6 grams, except that the following weights- 
were rounded off as indicated gr. viii==*5 j gr. ix=*55, and grs. xiv= , 85, ^ tne 
higher values we select the following : 

Gr. xvi=i*o; ^i=i*25 5 5 SS = 2 '° > 9"— 2 '5 5 g r - xlviii=3'oj 9" ss= 3' 12 > 
3i=375 5 g r - lxxii— 4'5 3 3iss=5*57- ^=6*25 ; 3iiss=9*5 ; 5iii=ii*o, etc., the 
remaining values being estimated, as nearly as convenient, by taking the value of 
the scruple and drachm as stated, the ounce and its multiples being valued at the 
rate of 30 grams. 

If it is remembered that the weight of a fluidounce of water of apothecaries* 
measure, at 15 C, very nearly equals (within 3*5 grains) one ounce of apothe- 
caries 1 weight, as formerly used in Prussia, it will be evident that the Prussian 
weights, as indicated in the official table referred to above, will be almost fsfae 
absolute equivalents for the corresponding measures of water, as employed in the 
United States, and upon this basis we have calculated the following table, giving all 
values in the approximate gram values. The table, it may be premised, follows that 
given by our " Pharmacopoeia," and for the liquids three standards have been taken ? 
namely, waters, fluid extracts and tinctures prepared with diluted alcohol, all having 
approximately the density of water - liquids lighter than water, spec. gr. -85 to '95 
and including the spirits, tinctures made with alcohol, fixed and volatile oils } and 
Squids heavier than water, spec. gr. 1*25 to 1*32, including glycerin and the syrups 
The few liquids, like ether and chloroform, varying to some extent from the densi - 
ties here given, are so rarely prescribed as an addition to mixtures that it is believed 
that the table here given will, practically, in all cases serve the purpose as a 

Editorial { Km &*i 

Table for converting Apothecaries'" Weights and Measures into Gram Weights. 

Grams for Liquids 

Troy Weight. 


Apothecaries' Measures. 

Lighter than 

Spec. Grav 
of Water. 

Heavier than 



Minim 1 








* T 5 














































































. 2 5 


I *55 



"5 2 









2' 90 

10 (9ss) 



2- 5 









•90 1 







60 (f Si) 

3 40 




1-05 I 











20 Oi) 



4" 5° 





90 (f 5iss) 




30 (3ss) 











8 30 



120 (f gii) 



10 00 

40 OH) 


150 (fsjiiss) 










50 Oiiss) 


180 (f sjiii) 


11 25 




210 (f giiiss) 

II 80 





240 (f giv) 




80 Oiv) 






90 (,5iss) 

5-9 ! 

f 3vss 




100 O v ) 

6-5 ; 

f 3vi 




1 10 Ovss) 


f "5vii 


26 25 


120 (3ii) 

7 80 

f oviii (f z\) 




150 (giiss) 


f ^ix 






f 3 X 




240 (Jfss) 

J 5'5 

f^xii (f "fiss) 




300 (3v) 


f ^xiv 


52 5 


360 (3vi) 


f lii 




420 3vii) 


f 3iiss 






f ^iii 
f ^iiiss 










io8 - oo 



Am Tour. Pharm.1 
Feb., 1877. / 



Minims and Drops. — At the present time, when the introduction of the metric 
system of weights and measures is so widely discussed in the United States, ii 
becomes of importance to guard against erroneous statements gaining a foothold, 
which might prejudice the inexperienced against a system which, after its successful 
introduction, promises to be of such great advantage. It appears to have escaped 
general notice that the two tables of the " U. S. Pharmacopoeia " giving the rela- 
tion of the old and metric weights differ, though slightly, in the value of the gram,, 
which difference, however, becomes apparent only for the values of one ounce and 
over, amounting for 12 troyounces to less than 4 centigrams, quite insignificant in 
its practical bearing. Different values are again given in a paper, the original of 
which we have not seen, but which we find copied in the "Virginia Medical 
Monthly " for December. The paper, which is entitled " Practical Illustration of 
the Metric System," was taken from the " Medical Register for New England,^ 
and has for its author Francis H. Brown, M.D., assisted by Dr. Robt. Amory, of 
Brookline, and Prof. G. F. H. Markoe, of Roxbury. The most conflicting statements- 
are given as to the relative value of the different weights and measures, as, for in- 
stance, the gram is stated in two contiguous places to be equal to 15-4323 and to 
15-4349 grains. This difference, however, does not vary much from the difference 
in the "Pharmacopoeia" tables, and is practically of no account. It is different,, 
however, with other errors, which are by far too serious, though quite inconsistent,, 
so that they appear to demand some notice here by placing two statements side-by- 
side : 

f3i=3"69 cubic centimeters ; — for water ^=60^ or 3 grams. 

Since a cubic centimeter of water at its greatest density (4°C.) weighs 1 gram, 
the incorrectness of the above statement is quite apparent, even if the different 
gravity of water at the medium temperature (i5°C.) is not neglected. 

But when the statement is made that there is no relation between the density of a 
fluid and the weight of a minim, it is so clearly incorrect that it should need no re- 
futation. A table given with the paper makes the bold statement that 20 minims- 
of chloroform weigh only '370 gram, or about one-third of the asserted weight of 
water, the latter being in reality only about three-fifth the weight of the former 
liquid, though not as given in the table. 

It was found that the table, together with several sentences referring to it, have 
been taken from Dorvault's " TOfficine " (edit. 1872, p. 190), the translator having 
made the slight (?) mistake of translating drop (goutte) by minim. Dorvault 
describes several dropping glasses, and then states that " the apparatus is considered 
adjusted if, at i5°C, 20 drops of distilled water weigh 1 gram, at least within 5 
centigrams." The following is the approximate weight of 20 drops of different liquids, 
at a temperature near i5°C. (We give only a few from the lengthy table) : 

Syrup (3S°B.), 

11 1 1 


Oil of peppermint, 

•400 grams. 

Ammonia (23°B), 



Oil of turpentine, 

■385 " 





•370 " 

Sulphuric acid (sp. gr. 

1-84), -700 


Absolute alcohol, 

•311 " 

Croton oil, 



Sulphuric ether, 

•263 " 

94 Editorial— Reviews, etc. { A %^8 7 ^. rm ' 

An inspection of this table shows that there exists no relation between the iveight 
of a drop of a liquid and its density." 

We have similar tables enough of this so-called approximate measure by drops. 
A table giving the relation of the weight and measure of the drops of different 
liquids was prepared nearly fifty years ago by the late E. Durand, and published in 
the first volume of this journal (see also Griffith's "Formulary" (3d edit., p. 29). 
Those who desire to be informed of the different size of drops are referred to the 
tables in " Parrish's Pharmacy," 4th edit., p.p. 79, 80, where it will also be found 
that a difference of from 30 to 100 per cent, in the number of drops for the same 
measure is by no means uncommon, as obtained with the same liquid under different 


Proceedings of the American Pharmaceutical Association at the Twenty-fourth Annual 
Meeting, held in Philadelphia, Pa., September, 1876. Also, the Constitution and 
By-Laws and Roll of Members. Philadelphia: Sherman & Co., Printers, 1877. 
8vo, pp. 909. Price, cloth, $7.50. 

With .the view of keeping the size of the volume within convenient limits, the 
Executive Committee has adopted a smaller type than had heretofore been used ; 
but, notwithstanding this,' the volume before us exceeds by ten pages the preceding 


As usual, a considerable portion of the book — 392 pages — is occupied by the 
excellent report of Prof. Diehl on the Progress of Pharmacy, giving, in a condensed 
form, the results of the investigations and observations in pharmacy and the 
collateral sciences during the year closing with June 30th, 18765 the following 48 
pages being the reports of the various committees, and the next 120 pages the 
papers read at the last meeting, and of most of which we have given a brief abstract 
in our October number. A list of books and pamphlets on pharmaceutical 
subjects, published during the year, has been prepared by Prof. Diehl, and is 
followed by the minutes and discussions, which, with the President's address, occupy 
142 pages. Nearly as voluminous is the report of the Committee on the Centen- 
nial Exhibition, which gives a pretty complete list of the articles having special 
pharmaceutical interest which were exhibited at Fairmount Park; the last 160 pages 
being the list of exchanges, Constitution and By-Laws, roll of members and index, 
an alphabetical list of members being printed for the first time with this volume. 

A very excellent likeness, printed from a steel engraving, of the late John 
Milhau ; a well-executed lithographic plate of 13 vesicating beetles, nearly all indige- 
nous to this continent ; and very correct plates of Eriodyction Californicum, the 
new remedy for pectoral complaints, and of Rheum officinale, one of the sources of 
Chinese rhubarb, embellish the volume, besides 50 wood-cuts, in illustration of 
apparatus, drugs, chemicals, etc. 

Taking everything together, the present volume is very creditable to the Associ- 
ation, and forms not only the largest and handsomest, but, we believe, likewise one 
of the most useful, when compared with its predecessors. The complete and well- 

Am. Jour. Pharm. ) 
Feb., 1877. J 

Reviews, etc. 


arranged and digested report on the progress of pharmacy, giving an annual synop- 
sis of the pharmaceutical literature of the civilized world, is alone worth the whole 
amount of the annual dues, and all pharmacists and druggists who take an interest 
in the business of their choice, should connect themselves with this Association, 
which already has its members in 38 States and Territories of the Union, in Canada 
and some Central American States and West Indian Islands. 

The volume will be mailed by the Permanent Secretary, John M. Maisch, on 
receipt of the price. 

The Aromatic Group in the Che?nistry of Plants. By Albert B. Prescott, F. C. S., 
Professor of Organic Chemistry in the University of Michigan. 8vo, pp. 23. 

An interesting review of this important group of chemical compounds, reprinted 
from the "Proceedings of the Ann Arbor Scientific Association for 1875-76." 

Boston Society of Civil Engineers. Report of Standing Committee on the Metric System 
of Weights and Measures. Boston, December, 1876. 8vo, pp. 12. 

The society mentioned in the title has been very active in promoting the adop- 
tion of the metric system in this country, and has been in correspondence with 
other societies, boards of trade, manufacturers, etc., who would be affected by the 
proposed change. The report before us gives not only the favorable but also the 
unfavorable action and views of the parties named. We learn, also, that Sweden 
has adopted the metric system, its obligatory use to date from 1889, in order to 
avoid actual compulsion and to prepare all technical books in the new system. 
Russia is likewise moving in the same directions. 

Regarding its practical introduction in this country, the committee conclude their 
report with the following recommendation : 

"After advising so many other people to use the metric weights and measures, 
we think it would be a graceful thing for the members of this society to do some- 
thing themselves towards actually adopting them. We think that the place to begin 
is in writing scales on plans. We recommend, therefore, that upon every plan that 
has its scale shown by a graduated line, indicating feet, miles, etc., a second line 
should be drawn as a scale of meters. This requires very little additional labor, 
does not injure the plan for present use and may enhance its future value, shows 
what is now the lawful standard of the United States and how long the meter is as 
compared with the foot, and it gives the draughtsman his first lesson as to the diffi- 
culties that lie in the way of the metric system. This practice can perfectly well 
be adopted by a very few persons, or even by a single individual, unsuppoted by 
the rest of the community. " 

Medicinal Plants ; being Descriptions with Original Figures of the Principal Plants 
employed in Medicine, and an Account of their Properties and Uses. By Robt. 
Bentley, F. L. S., etc., and Henry Trimen, M. B., F. L. S. Philadelphia: 
Lindsay & Blakiston. Price, per part, $2. 

Parts 13, 14 and 15 of this valuable work contain the colored plates and descrip- 
tive accounts of the following plants : Aconitum napellus, Tenospora cordifolia 
(an East Indian tonic, antiperiodic and diuretic), Mucuna pruriens, Inula helenium, 
Anacyclus pyrethrum, Artemisia pauciflora (yielding santonica), Strychnos nux- 

9 6 

Reviews , etc. — Obituary. 

Am. Jour. Pharm; 
Feb., 1877. 

vomica, Delphinium staphisagria, Potentilla tormentilla, Ecbalium elaterium, Con- 
volvulus scammonia, Lavandula vera, Nepeta cataria, Marrubium vulgare, Erythro- 
xylon coca, Cytisus scoparius, Prunus laurocerasus, Eucalyptus globulus, Cephaelis 
ipecacuanha, Rosmarinus officinalis and Laurus nobilis. As in the preceding num- 
bers, the illustrations are superbly executed, the text is clear and comprehensive, and 
not the least important feature is the copious references to the literature on the 
various subjects in the English language. 


Professor Joseph Carson, M.D., died in Philadelphia December 30, at the age 
of 68 years. He was elected to the chair of Materia Medica in the Philadelphia 
College of Pharmacy in 1836, and held that position until 1850, when he accepted 
the professorship of Materia Medica in the University of Pennsylvania, from which 
he retired in the spring of last year, in consequence of impaired health. The 
deceased had been editor of the " American Journal of Pharmacy " from November,. 
1836, until July, 1850, during a portion of which time he was assisted by Prof. 
Robert Bridges and afterwards by the late Prof. Wm. Procter as Associate Editors, 

He took an active part in the revision of several editions of the " United 
States Pharmacopoeia," and was honored with the position of President of the last 
decennial convention for its revision, which assembled in Washington in 1870. 
He was an active member of various scientific societies, in several of which he 
served as officer. 

Dr. Carson contributed a number of valuable papers on subjects of the materia 
medica to this journal, most of which appeared during his occupancy of the edi- 
torial chair 5 and in 1847 he published a valuable work, entitled "Illustrations of 
Medical Botany," which was embellished with 100 handsomely illustrated litho- 
graphic plates. 

He was a man of great mental and social qualities, and a successful teacher of 
his favorite branch of science. 

Charles W. Badger died in Newark, N. J., after a brief illness, January 17th. 
He had been for many years engaged in the drug business in that city, and took a 
prominent and active part in the organization and objects of the local pharmaceu- 
tical associations of his State. He was a member — and the first and thus far the only 
life member under the present by-laws of the American Pharmaceutical Association. 
As a man of the highest integrity, sound judgment and good business habits, he 
was highly respected and honored with various positions of public trust; as a mark, 
of respect, the pharmacists and druggists of Newark closed their places af business 
during his funeral on Saturday, January 20. 

Henry A. Hughes, the oldest member of the American Pharmaceutical Asso- 
ciation in the State of Kentucky, died in Louisville Nov. 21 last, aged 55 J years. 
He was born and raised in Paris, Bourbon county, Ky., and commenced business 
in Louisville in 1847. 



MARCH, 1877. 


By Hans M. Wilder. 

Amber. — Mr. Rother (" Pharmacist," February, p. 43) furnishes a 
good illustration of the usefulness of amber-colored bottles in protect- 
ing the contents against the action of the chemical rays. Of a batch 
of tincture of kino, a portion was put in a brown bottle, and was found 
to be still in a good condition while the contents of the shelf bottle were 
entirely gelatinized. Since most preparations are sensitive to light 
(especially tinctures, essential oils, some of the powdered drugs and a 
few chemicals), amber-colored bottles should, by right, constitute the 
bulk of shelf-furniture. Sir John Herschel's observation, that the 
vegetable colors are destroyed by rays of the complementary color, will 
form no objection, since the complementary color of yellow is purple 5 
and few articles possess that color. 

Blue would be the right color for bottles containing " externals " or 
" poisons" (f. inst. aqua ammoniae, acid, oxalic.) 

White for all the remainder. 

For the use of customers (prescriptions and counter sale) : Amber 
only for solutions of nitrate of silver (as mentioned by Prof. Maischy, 
in the February number, not necessary in itself, but to serve as a 
distinction from other colorless preparations); Blue, for " externals ;" 
White, for the remainder. But what have we to use for poisons ? 

The usual " knobbed " blue bottle is good enough, but we cannot 
prevent people from using the cleaned empty poison bottles for other 
purposes (f. inst. castor oil, sweet nitre, laudanum, etc.), and as for 
exchanging such bottles for white ones (that is, unobjectionable ones) 
every practical druggist knows that it is generally well-nigh impossible 
to induce people to submit to. Some invention is wanted which can be 
applied to bottles containing poisons, so as to serve as a distinguishing 



Tincture of Catechu. 

J Am. Jour. Pharm. 
( Mar., 1877. 

and attention-calling mark, but which can be removed when said bottles 
have to serve for other purposes. 

Mr. Bakes' suggestion of sand-bordered labels is a step in the right 
direction, but we want something more durable than pasted paper. 


By Louis Genois. 

Some difficulty being experienced almost daily by pharmacists in 
preparing the above tincture so that it will not gelatinize, the appended 
modification of the official formula is hereby offered : 

Take of Catechu free from dirt, etc., and in small pieces, 3 troyounces j 
Cinnamon, in moderately coarse powder, . 2 troyounces 5 


Alcohol, of each, . . sufficient quantity. 

Digest the catechu in 1 pint of water at a temperature of about 100° 
F., until reduced to a thin cream-like consistence ; let cool, add a 
pint of alcohol, let stand for twelve hours, filter ; then, with the 
filtrate, percolate the cinnamon, previously mixed with an equal bulk 
of clean sand, and moderately packed in a conical glass percolator, and 
when the menstruum has just disappeared from the surface, pour on 
sufficient diluted alcohol to make the product measure two pints. Pre- 
pared in this way, tincture of catechu is very clear, of a rich dark 
color, and will not deposit insoluble matter nor gelatinize inside of a 
year at least. 

Nenv Orleans, January 18th, 1877. 


By W. W. Moorhead. 

[Read at the Meeting of the Alumni Association, Feb. 1, 1877.) 

Glycerol of nitrate of bismuth, which was the subject of an article 
in the January number of the " American Journal of Pharmacy," 
written by B. Squire, M. B., struck me as something which druggists, 
as well as physicians, have long wanted, and which is destined to 
become one of our most valuable and prominent preparations. I pre- 
pared a portion of the glycerite, using two troyounces of nitrate of 
bismuth, and a sufficient quantity of glycerin to make eight fluidounces. 

Am Ma n""i8 7 h 7 ! rin ' } Solution of Citrate of Magnesium, 9 9 

I would suggest to the Committee on Revision of the " U. S. Phar- 
macopoeia," that it would be much more convenient for physicians and 
druggists to have all the glycerites, with the exception of the glycerite 
of tar, made of this definite strength, instead of the present plan of 
ordering two troyounces of the base and one-half pint of glycerin, 
making a solution of which no one can know the exact strength with- 
out experimenting to see how much increase of bulk takes place. 

If the strength I have mentioned be adopted, we would have a pre- 
paration, containing in any number of minims, one-fourth as many 
grains of the base, and it would be a very convenient solution to use 
in dispensing small quantities. 

Nitrate of bismuth dissolves readily in the proportion of glycerin 
mentioned, and the resulting glycerite can be diluted with a small 
quantity of water (an equal bulk or less), and yet retain all the bismuth 
in permanent solution. 

If more than three parts of water be added to one part of the 
glycerite, a portion of the bismuth will be slowly deposited. The length 
of time elapsing before the precipitation commences, varying according 
to the amount of dilution. A few experiments were made to ascertain 
how different degrees of dilution would affect it. 

One part of glycerite added to twelve parts of distilled water (by 
measure) commenced to precipitate in about two hours ; one part in 
eight parts of water in four hours ; one part in six parts of water in twenty 
hours ; but in very dilute solutions it would stand much longer, as one 
part to forty-eight parts of water stood two days before showing any signs 
of precipitation. 

On account of this fact of precipitating when added to water, the 
physician should always prescribe the glycerite of bismuth, and direct 
the patient to dilute it when using it. 1 


By John W. Watts. 
The formula for preparing solution of citrate of magnesium, as laid 
down in the "U. S. Pharmacopoeia," is liable to a series of objections, 
in regard to preparation and preservation; the latter objection I do not 
think can be overcome by the present formula without seriously alter- 

'Compare also notes on the same prepare tion, on page 89 of February number. 
— Editor. 

ioo Substitute for Citrate of Magnesium. { Km ^ x ;^ tm ' 

ing its composition \ the objections to the former are twofold, first as to 
the length of time consumed in dissolving the magnesia in the solution 
of citric acid with the water, and secondly the necessity of filtering it 
after it is dissolved. These two objections may be admirably over- 
come by simply substituting boiling water in place of the cold, as pre- 
scribed, making the formula read thus : 

Take of Citric acid, ....... 450 grains \ 

Calcined magnesia, . . . . . . 120 " 

Bicarbonate of potassium, .... 40 " 

Syrup of citric acid, . . . . . . 2 fl. oz.; 

Boiling water, . . . . . . 4 " 

Dissolve the citric acid in the boiling water in a suitable vessel, and 
while hot add the magnesia, constantly stirring until dissolved ; decant 
the clear liquid from any gritty sediment that may remain ; then add 
the syrup and a sufficient quantity of cold water to fill a i2oz. bottle, 
lastly add the bicarbonate of potassium, and cork. 

It is very important that the acid should be dissolved before adding 
the magnesia, for if the two be added together, and then the boiling 
water, it will form a tough gummy mass, which will be very difficult to 
dissolve, if at all. By this method it will not take longer than three 
or four minutes at the outside to prepare one or more bottles as re- 
quired, whilst the officinal formula will require at least twenty minutes 
to complete one bottle. This saving of time is decidedly an advantage 
to those pharmacists who desire to dispense an article that is always 
fresh and pleasant to the taste ; it can very readily be prepared with 
but little inconvenience while the customer is waiting at the counter, 
and I am sure that nine persons out of every ten would prefer waiting 
a few moments than be compelled to swallow an almost rotten prepar- 
ation that has been kept any length of time. 

Baltimore, January, 1877. 



Post Hospital, Fort A. Lincoln, D. T., } 
January 16th, 1877. J 

To the Editor of "American Journal of Pharmacy."'' 

The following formula is, I think, an excellent substitute for solu- 
tion of citrate of magnesium, U. S. P. : 

Am. Jour. Pharm. > 
Mar., I877. / 

Cosmo lin Cream. 


Take of Acidum citricum (in moderate sized crystals), . 

Magnesii sulphas, . . . ^ss — i 

Syrupus simplex, . . . fjiii 

Extractum limonis, . . . . TT\,v 

Pota>sii bicarb, (in crystals), . . g r -*l 

Aqua pura, sufficient for . . . f^xii 
M. secundum artem. 

The above formula is much cheaper, and contains in a greater de- 
gree the required properties of a good, mild laxative than does the 
officinal solution of magnesium citrate, and also has a very pleasant flavor, 
the bitter taste of magnesia being entirely absent. 

It is also a very expeditious and convenient manner of preparing 
such a solution, and will, I trust, meet the approbation of those who 
have not the time to while away in preparing that (to drug clerks) 
tedious formula, sol. magn. cit. 

The following is my method of preparing it : Place acid and sal 
Epsom in 12-oz. bottle, then add simple syrup and water and extract 
of lemon — lastly, add potassium bicarb., and cork ready for use. By 
using the acid and potassium bicarb, in crystals the danger of gas escap- 
ing is obviated, as gas does not begin to generate before the cork can 
be firmly secured. 

Joseph Rhinehart, 

Hospital Steward U. S. A. 


Editor American Journal of Pharmacy : 

An excellent substitute for cold cream may be obtained by the fol- 

lowing formula : 

Take of Cosmolin, . gxxiv 

White wax, . . ... 

Spermaceti, ad 5x11 
Glycerin, .... f 3 iii 

Oil of rose geranium, . . . f 

Melt the wax and spermaceti, add the cosmolin ; then stir until 
nearly cold ; add the glycerin and oil, and continue to stir until cold. 

E. J. Davidson, Ph.G. 

102 The Keeping and Dispensing of Extracts. { Am £"- I 3 7 h 7 arm 


By J. C. Wharton. 

Among the disagreeable things- connected with pharmacy, scarcely 
any give more annoyance than solid extracts, and it is with a view of 
lessening the unpleasant features of this large class of our preparations 
that I offer the following suggestions. I cannot claim that the method 
herewith presented will be always practicable, but from sufficient 
experience can confidently recommend it as worth a trial. Before 
stating the proposition, however, I would prefer to give a passing 
notice of some of the defects in the manufacturers' part in putting up 
their extracts for general sale. 

A very common fault is in the consistency. Solid extracts when first 
opened are not often too hard unless old, but quite frequently they are 
entirely too soft. Some, indeed, with a little more dilution would 
make passably good fluid extracts. To such an extent is this true that 
oftentimes a newly purchased lot of extracts will be received in such 
condition externally that the label is defaced and almost if not alto- 
gether illegible from the running out of the extract at the imperfectly 
covered top of the jar. To obviate this difficulty some manufacturers 
resort to a plan which dispensers, I am sure, would pronounce very 
objectionable in more than one respect, should their opinion be asked 
about it. The plan alluded to is that of placing tin-foil over the tops 
of the jars, between the cover and the extract. If the tin-foil were 
pure tin, one objection to this plan could not be urged ; but as it 
usually contains a considerable proportion of lead, it must be objec- 
tionable on that account, if not dangerous to use for the purpose. 
However, even if harmless, it is a source of inconvenience and also 
loss to the dispenser, as it often gets so badly mixed with the contents 
of the jar as to be not easily removed, and if removed at all, occasions 
loss from adhering extract. Some manufacturers place a circular piece 
of bladder, or some sort of animal tissue, over the extracts, with much 
better judgment, it seems to me. 

But to briefly state the point had in mind at the outset : I have 
found that a number of solid extracts can be kept in very good condi- 
tion, and more conveniently for dispensing than in any other way I 
know of or have yet heard of, by simply making pills of certain sizes,, 
\ grains, I, 2, 3, 5, 10, 20 grains, or any suitable weights, accurately 

Am M J a n, r 'i8 P 7 7 arm '} The Keeping and Dispensing of Extracts. 103: 

made, and keeping them in the usual white earthen jar, covered with 
an abundance of lycopodium. 

The convenience of this method will be appreciated when once tried 
Its advantages are : its readiness for dispensing its neatness for hand- 
ling and the cleanliness of the jar and label externally ; its economy> 
compared with the usual mode of weighing small quantities as wanted,, 
and thereby losing what sticks to the spatulas ; its uniformity oi> 
strength (not being affected by subsequent drying or deliquescence, as 
usual) ; the full weight is given, whereas by the usual method of 
weighing on paper some is lost, not being removable. 

To this last I would add a suggestion : instead of weighing solid! 
extracts on paper, a better plan is to dust lycopodium over it on taking- 
it from the jar, and to roll it between the fingers, dusted over with the 
same powder. The little ball may then be weighed, as any other solid, 
in the dish of the scale without sticking to it. The lycopodium would 
not add materially to the weight, as it may all be blown off except a 
very thin film. Should perfect accuracy be demanded, both pans of 
the scale may be dusted over with lycopodium and balanced with it; 
then the extract may be placed in the pan, on the powder, and 

The main disadvantage that appears to present itself in the matter 
of keeping the weighed masses is the possibility of the extract becom- 
ing so dry as to be worked up in prescriptions with difficulty, This- 
might be prevented by a proper addition of glycerin ; and I am of 
opinion that, even should the extract become dry, it might be softened 
by placing a moistened sponge in the jar with the pills, in such a man- 
ner as not to wet them, but supply a moist atmosphere, and let the 
pills absorb moisture without altering their shape. I have not had 
occasion, however, to try this plan, and cannot speak positively about 
its successful application. 

In conclusion, it may be stated yet that the pills may be put into 
different jars, or several sizes may be kept in the same jar, by making 
partitions, or by making such great difference in the sizes or shapes of 
the masses as to identify them. 

Nashville, Tenn., Jan. 31, 1877. 

I o 4 Sugar-coated Pills. { Am i&/i8 7 h 7 arm 


By J. B. Moore. 

The practice of sugar-coating pills has been for some time the sub- 
ject of severe, and I think, unjust criticism, and it is with the view of 
trying to correct some of the errors which have gained currency 
among medical men by what has been said and written, that I have 
prepared this paper. 

Having been constantly selling and dispensing sugar-coated pills and 
granules since the practice has to any extent been adopted, I claim 
that I am somewhat qualified by experience and close observation to 
judge of the advantages and disadvantages of the practice as it affects 
their therapeutic qualities. In all my experience in selling and dispens- 
ing, I might say many hundred pounds of sugar-coated pills, I have 
never heard of a single instance of complaint of their inefficency or 
even tardiness of action, either from physicians or customers, which 
could, by any stretch of the imagination, be attributed to their sacchar- 
ine investment. 

The objections which have been urged against the practice of sugar- 
coating pills rest, I think, upon insufficient grounds, and cannot prevail 
with any force when the subject is properly considered in the light of 
practical experience. No arbitrary rule for general application can be 
made to govern the matter as to what pills should or should not be 
coated in extemporaneous dispensing. This must be left to the judg- 
ment of the physician or pharmacist, which judgment must be based 
upon the knowledge of the chemical nature, etc., of the ingredients 
composing the pills, and the circumstances under which they are to be 
employed. But I do contend that as a rule almost all pills which are 
to be kept more than a day or two, should be coated with something, 
sugar preferred when practicable, and more especially such as contain 
iodide of iron, or any of the ferrous salts of iron, asafoetida, etc., or any 
volatile or readily oxidizable substance. Very many substances are 
liable to change and to deteriorate by even a brief exposure to the 
variable hygroscopic conditions and other atmospheric influences, from 
which the coating shields them, and at the same time preserves the pill 
mass from that indefinite exsiccation and hardening which exposure 
would produce. 

I think that all of the officinal pills, as well as the numerous popular 
pills, which the pharmacist is obliged to keep ready-made, such for 

Am Jour. Pharm. ) 
Mar., 1877, J 

Sugar-coated Pills. 

instance, as the comp. cathartic, comp. rhubarb, Hooper's and Lady 
Webster pill, and pills of iodide and proto-carbonate of iron, quinia, 
etc., should, by all means, be coated. 

The opponents of coated pills may say " let every pharmacist make 
these pills in small quantities, and renew his stock every week or ten 
days." But, I would ask, what is to become of the old stock that 
remains on hand at each period of renewal, and which may be the bulk, 
and, in some instances, the entire lot ; must these be discarded and cast 
away, and a new lot prepared, to be treated in like manner ? Yet 
this must be done if we wish to meet the views of some of the oppo- 
nents of coated pills, or else the pharmacists must make their pills up 
freshly when called for, which, I can assure my brethren, would entail 
upon the already complicated and onerous duties of the pharmacist an 
amount of labor, trouble and real annoyance, which to be appreciated 
must be experienced. I have realized a foretaste of this by being 
called upon, on several occasions, to prepare single doses of comp. 
cathartic, Lady Webster and various other kinds of pills, by persons 
whose newly-formed and unfounded prejudices against sugar-coated 
pills made them obstinately refuse to take them. 

If the practice of sugar coating pills should be abandoned, I can 
assure both the medical profession and the public that they will have 
to use pills in a worse and more uncertain condition than they now have 
them in the sugar-coated form. And, unless my conceptions of 
human nature are very erroneous, the pill business would soon degen- 
erate into a state of chaos and uncertainty, and the public would be 
served up with such a sorry set of pharmaceutical products in the shape 
of pills as to make them soon cry aloud for a return to the elegant and 
palatable sugar-coated pill, which has, for fifteen years, steadily grown 
Into such unbounded popularity, not only with the medical profession but 
also with the entire public. How could they ever have attained this 
•universal popularity if they had been insoluble, and, if insoluble, why 
was it not discovered long ago by medical men, who have been daily 
and almost even hourly prescribing them for years. 

The use of glycerin in pill excipients is a very good thing as far as 
:t goes, but it does not protect the pill 'from deterioration by exposure, 
nor does it shield the palate from the disagreeable contact of the 
* s bitter pill." Furthermore, its hygroscopic character might, in some 
instances, render it positively objectionable, and in no case can it supply 


Sugar-coated Pills. 

[Am Jour. Pharm. 
( Mar., 1877 

the place of good sugar coating in preservative qualities. It is,, 
however, an excellent excipient to employ in making pills, when 
eligible, either plain or coated, and I understand that the majority of 
our wholesale manufacturers of sugar-coated pills use it. 

The argument that some pharmacists use against sugar-coated pills 
is that the wholesale manufacturer shares with us a portion of our 
profits. This weak argument may carry weight with some who 
have no business to occupy their time, but pharmacists who enjoy a 
fair run of business can spend their time much more profitably in other 
departments than they can in freshly making single doses of all the 
various popular pills for five cents each, which is the maximum price 
that three out of five pharmacists could get, and I have no doubt that 
many would be compelled to prepare them for 3 cents per dose. If 
anv pharmacist would charge ten cents for a dose of comp. cathartic 
pills, his unemployed and, perhaps, ignorant neighbor would charge 
three or five cents, and thus either take his customer or compel him 
to " come down." For people are influenced very much now-a-days 
by the charm of cheapness, and especially in little matters of this kind. 

The most popular pills, in my experience, are the officinal compound 
cathartic pills. These are in constant demand, and are most generally 
sold by the single dose, and, to accommodate customers, I keep them 
always put up in doses of three, four and five pills each, of which I 
sell many doses every day, and for the last fifteen years have sold none 
in this way but what have been sugar-coated, and presume that out of 
every fifty doses sold forty-five are in doses of only three pills each,, 
it being very rarely that doses of four or five pills are called for, 
and I can scarcely recall to mind a single complaint of their ineffi- 
cacy. This I consider a good test of the merits of sugar-coated 
pills. If the coating interfered with their solubility or activity I would 
most certainly have heard frequent complaints, for the public are not 
generally very mealy-mouthed or at all backward in telling the pharma- 
cist of his short-comings, or of the lack of efficacy of any of his 
medicines. I also sell large quantities of sugar-coated Lady Webster's, 
compound rhubarb, phodophyllin pills, etc., and I never hear com- 
plaints of their inactivity. It is pills of this character, which produce 
decided and sensible effects upon the system, that are the best test 
with reference to their solubility. 

If purgative pills will dissolve, which are liable to be hurried through 

Am. Jour. Pharm. 1 
Mar., 1877. J 

Sugar-coated Pills. 

the alimentary canal by the increased peristaltic action produced by the 
smallest portion of the medical ingredient coming in contact with the 
mucous membrane of the bowels, how much more likely would the 
anodyne, alterative and other class of pills be to dissolve, which are 
liable to linger longer in their passage. 

As a proof of the fallacy of the idea that sugar-coating diminishes 
or destroys the activity of pills, watch the steady and unwavering 
popularity of many of the proprietary pills, which are now, I believe, 
nearly all sugar-coated, such, for instance, as Wright's, Jayne's, Ayer's, 
Schenck's, Brandreth's, etc. Do you suppose for a moment, that if the 
coating of these pills interfered in the least with their activity, the 
proprietors would not soon discover the fact and at once abandon the 
practice. These men are shrewd and keep a steady eye upon their own 
interests, and offer to the great public their remedies in the most 
palatable and inviting forms. And if regular medical practitioners 
should insist upon dosing the public with uncoated, bitter pills, what 
would be the result ? People who have hitherto been in the habit of 
using the various officinal and semi-officinal pills would buy and use in 
their stead some of the popular proprietary pills. This would be the 
natural sequence of the present crusade against sugar-coated pills, if 

Instead of abandoning the practice of sugar-coating pills I would 
rather encourage its more extensive adoption, and would recommend,, 
if it could be conveniently done, the coating of all pills with some- 
thing to conceal their taste and to protect them from atmospheric 
influence. If some facile and expeditious means could be devised by 
which the process of sugar-coating could be executed quickly, Pwould 
like to see it applied even to pills on the extemporaneous prescriptions 
of physicians, and thus shield the sensitive and delicate palate of the 
sick from the disagreeable taste and, sometimes, repulsive odor of 
nauseous medicines, I might, however, offer as exceptions to this rule 
all pills that are to be administered in diarrhoeas, dvsentery, cholera 
morbus, cholic, etc., where immediate or the promptest action is 
required, and where a highly exalted state of peristaltic action exists,. 
In such cases it is probable that a freshly-made uncoated pill might be 

To many persons a pill is the most acceptable form in which 
medicine can be administered, while to others pill-taking is a very 

io8 Sugar-coated Pills. 

unpleasant task, and the idea of swallowing a pill is associated with 
the most unpleasant sensations, amounting, in some cases, to the 
utmost disgust ; I have known many persons who positively could 
not swallow a pill. Some people always have to hold a pill in their 
mouths for some time, and it is only swallowed after the most 
strenuous efforts. This very repugnance and disgust, experienced by 
many persons, in taking pills and difficulty in swallowing them, has 
been, in many instances, I have no doubt, engendered by their being 
compelled to take bitter and nauseous uncoated pills, whereas had they 
been sugar-coated, they might never have experienced the slightest 
difficulty in taking pills at any time. 

If regular physicians wish to render their practice unpopular with 
the public and encourage and foster homoeopathy, let them sanction and 
join in the recent opposition to sugar-coated pills, and continue to 
discourage the employment of other elegant and palatable forms of 
remedies which an enlightened pharmacy offers them. 

I consider opposition to sugar-coated pills an unfortunate retrograde 
step, and as unjustifiable and unnecessary as it is injudicious and damag- 
ing to the interests of both medicine and pharmacy. I think it should 
be the aim of every pharmacist, who feels a just pride in his 
profession, to encourage rather than discourage the adoption and 
perpetuation of any practice that gives elegance to his products and 
that renders his preparations as agreeable to the taste and as inviting in 
appearance as possible. The very appearance of a medicine may 
invite, or it may repel and excite feelings of disgust in the mind of a 
patient. Physicians should feel it their duty, as it most certainly is of 
paramount importance to their interests, to aid and encourage pharma- 
cists in their efforts in this direction, by using and recommending 
such improved forms of remedies. I refer, of course, to legitimate 
and substantial improvements. I don't expect a physician to adopt 
and prescribe every new-fangled thing to which the pharmacist may call 
his attention, either personally, by circular or by sample, the real merit 
of which may be all in the label, the true composition being kept a 
profound secret and only known to the pharmacist himself, and the 
whole thing, perhaps, only a fraud and deception. 

The more elegant in appearance and the more palatable medicines are 
the more popular the regular practice will become. It has unques- 
tionably been, in a great measure, the disagreeable and repulsive doses of 

/Am. Jour. Pharm. 
J Mar., 1877. 

Am. Jour. Pharm. ) 
Mar., 1877. / 

Sugar-coated Pille. 

the regular practitioner, and the palatableness of homoeopathic remedies 
that has given the latter practice such a foothold, and rendered it so 
popular among the most cultivated and refined classes of our population. 
It is not among the ignorant and poor that homoeopathic practice has 
attained its greatest popularity, but it is with the more cultivated and 
refined, whose delicate and fastidious palates revolt at nauseous doses 
of regular medicine. It is this class of people who will employ that 
doctor who will give them pleasant remedies, even though they may 
not really have so much confidence in his skill, in preference to one 
who deals out to them nauseous draughts. To ascertain the truth of 
what I have said, inquire of those who employ homoeopathic physi- 
cians, and I will guarantee that three out of every five persons will 
tell you that they were allured to the latter by their pleasant remedies* 
Mothers will tell you that their medicines are so nice for their child- 
ren ; that their little darlings take their medicines so easily. There is 
no coaxing and petting necessary ; no throwing of their little pets upon 
their backs and holding their noses while they pour the nauseous doses 
down their little throats, and then witnessing their sobs and heart- 
rending cries, since they have employed the homoeopathic doctor. 

The physician who studies to please the palate of his patient, espe- 
cially if it be a woman or child, does a wise thing, in that he fortifies 
himself in their confidence and respect to that degree that it would 
require some powerfully adverse circumstance to destroy. Many, 
many times have I heard ladies say, oh ! I do like Dr. So and So 
so much, he always prescribes such pleasant medicines. Hence, I say 
to the medical profession, pause and reflect awhile before you fall into 
the fatal error of taking the backward step of opposing and discourag- 
ing the use of sugar-coated pills, which give so great a finish and so 
much elegance to this form of remedy. 

The theory of insolubility of sugar-coated pills is, at first sight, a 
very plausible one, and therefore apt to be accepted by medical men as 
true, without their having taken the time and trouble to test its verity. 
And especially are such theories likely to gain credence and rapid cur- 
rency when they emanate from prominent writers, or are heralded by 
any of the " Sir Oracles" of a profession. But generally such false 
notions sustain but an ephemeral existence ; they may for a while, like 
the " will-o'-the-wisp," lead the unwary astray, but they cannot long 
withstand the sunlight of truth and scientific practical investigation, and, 


Sugar-coated Pills. 

f Am. Jour. Pharm. 
{ Mar , 1877. 

" Like bubbles on the sea of matter borne, 
They rise, they break, and to that sea return." 

When a remedy or form of remedy is placed under the ban of sus- 
picion, as sugar-coated pills have been, since the senseless tirade 
against them was started, it is apt to be blamed unjustly, and failure of 
therapeutic activity ascribed to it, which may be due to the deranged 
condition of the system. The usual dose of the officinal compound 
cathartic pill may, in the same individual, at one time produce exces- 
sive action, while at another time it may be wholly inoperative. So 
with quinia and other tonics ; they may at one time act with great 
precision, certainty and with magic power, while at another time, may 
be continued for weeks without any appreciable effect. This capri- 
ciousness and uncertainty of the action of medicines is a problem 
very difficult of solution. This lack of activity, or uncertainty in the 
action of a medicine may depend on some abnormal condition of the 
Huids and secretions of the stomach and intestinal canal ; hyperemia 
or vascular fullness of the mucous coat may retard or effectually pre- 
vent absorption, although the medicinal substance may be dissolved or 
digested, and in the most favorable condition for assimilation. Both the 
gastric and intestinal secretions are very much influenced also by the 
variable condition of the nervous system, even absorption or endosmotic 
action may, in a measure, be suspended or entirely suppressed by cer- 
tain nervous conditions. This is evidenced by the almost entire sus- 
pension of digestion produced in sensitive persons by the sudden 
announcement of bad news or any powerfully depressing circumstance. 
Grief or great trouble of any kind in persons of a nervous and sensitive 
organization, may often produce an awful sense of weight and oppression 
in the gastric region after food, accompanied by depression of spirits, 
etc. Every nervous and dyspeptic person has, I have no doubt, ex- 
perienced the truth of this. 

Idiosyncracies of individuals, which may be unknown to the physician, 
may also dwarf the power of medicines and interfere with their physio- 
logical action and pervert their therapeutic effects. Opium, belladonna 
and other narcotic and anodyne remedies, when given to relieve neu- 
ralgic and other painful affections and to produce sleep, often produce 
effects diametrically opposite to what are expected of them. Calomel 
and other preparations of mercury, iodide of potassium, arsenic, the vari- 
ous preparations of iron, etc., are all conspicuous examples of a large 

Am Ma°r U ^ 7 h 7 arn1 ' } Sugar-coated Pills. 1 1 1 

class of medicines which often fail in exerting their normal therapeutic 
effects, which, if administered in the pill form, may be unwittingly and 
unjustly ascribed either to their age or to their coating. These, with 
many other circumstances well known to medical men, may interfere 
with digestion, absorption and assimilation, and conspire to render the 
action of medicines uncertain. Hence, to test the relative merit or 
activity of the various kinds of pills, it is absolutely necessary in order 
for the therapeutist to arrive at a just and rational conclusion, that he 
should take into careful consideration all the various disturbing causes 
which beset the action of remedies. 

In consequence of the doubt and uncertainty created in the minds of 
physicians and pharmacists regarding the solubility of coated pills, sev- 
eral pharmacists instituted a series of experiments by means of artificial 
digestion, to test the relative solubility of the various coated and other 
ready-made pills of the day. With the results of their experiments the read- 
ers of this journal, I presume, are aware. But the utmost all such experi- 
ments can demonstrate is the relative solubility of the pills under treat- 
ment in the artificial mixture in which they are digested or macerated. 
They cannot convey any definite or even proximate idea of the rela- 
tive solubility of the pills when they are submitted to the natural pro- 
cess of digestion as it is conducted in the human stomach and intes- 
tinal canal. The conditions under which the artificial digestion is 
conducted are all so entirely different from those attending the natural 
process as to render comparison of results entirely out of the question. 
There is absence of the genial warmth and the muscular movements of 
the stomach and intestinal canal, and of the disintegrating influence of the 
constant agitation, trituration and the attrition to which the pill is sub- 
jected in contact with the particles of food, etc., usually present in the 
alimentary canal, and the powerfully solvent action of the various 
secretions not only of the stomach, but those of the entire mucous sur- 
face of the intestinal canal, all of which are so destructive to the 
integrity of the pill mass. These, we might say, are all wanting 
in the artificial process, and will ever render the latter, no matter how 
carefully conducted, nugatory and barren of even an approximation to 
positive or satisfactory results. 1 

1 Dr. Dalton, in his "Treatise on Human Physiology," page 133, says, concern- 
ing the muscular movements of' the stomach, that this " continuous movement of 
the stomach is one which cannot be successfully imitated in experiments on artificial 


Sugar-coated Pills. 

{Am. Jour. Pharm„ 
Mar., 1877. 

The most valuable and most satisfactory experiments ever made to 
test the digestive power of the gastric juice, both in and out of the 
stomach, were those made by Dr. Beaumont upon his subject St. 
Martin, in whom there existed, as the result of a gun-shot wound, an 
opening leading directly into the stomach, three inches from the car- 
diac orifice. From this opening, gastric juice could be obtained and the 
process of digestion inspected, which afforded Dr. Beaumont unusual 
opportunities for experimenting. In order to show the fallacy of com- 
paring artificial digestion with the natural process, I shall here quote 
from one of the experiments of Dr. Beaumont as I find it recorded in 
" Carpenter's Principles of Human Physiology," page 424. 

A portion of meat was submitted by Dr. Beaumont to artificial di- 
gestion, under the most favorable circumstances, with gastric juice taken 
from the stomach of St. Martin, which required from 11J o'clock A. 
M. to 9 o'clock P.M. for complete digestion, while another portion, 
exactly similar, was placed in the stomach of St. Martin at the same time y 
was, at one o'clock P.xM., found " to be all completely digested and 

Thus, it appears that meat, when submitted to artificial digestion, 
even with natural gastric juice in its nascent state, taken directly from 
the living human subject, required eight hours (six times) longer for 
complete digestion than it did when submitted to the crucial test of the 
natural process, which demonstrates how fallacious and unreliable must 
ever be all experiments made by artificial digestion with artificial gas- 
tric juice. 1 

In many, if not in the majority of cases in which medicines are 
administered in the pill form, I believe there are actual physiological 
advantages derived from the slow and gradual solubility of the pill mass 
in the stomach and intestinal canal. This not only protects the often 
sensitive mucous membrane of the stomach from the shock which the 

digestion with gastric juice in test-tubes, and consequently the process under these 
circumstances is never so rapid or so complete as when it takes place in the interior 
of the stomach." 

1 Dr. Carpenter, in commenting upon these experiments of Dr. Beaumont, page 
424 ("Carpenter's Principles of Human Physiology"), remarks that this tardy- 
action of artificial digestion "is readily accounted for, when we remember that no 
ordinary agitation can produce the same effects with the curious movements of the 
stomach, and that the continual removal from its cavity of the matter which has 
been already dissolved must aid the operation of the solvent on the remainder." 

Am M J a°r" r ;8 P 7 h 7 r rm - } Sugar-coated Pills. 1 1 j 

sudden contact of the full force of the medicine might produce, but 
also allows absorption to take place gradually and more thoroughly 
than when the pills are freshly made and liable to be completely dis- 
solved in a few minutes. Cathartics, particularly, are extremely liable 
in nervous and sensitive persons to irritate and sicken the stomach, con- 
sequently medicines of this class are often given, and are borne without 
discomfort, which, if administered in mixture or liquid form, would 
cause great distress and perhaps be ejected. The same is true of 
bi-chloride of mercury, iodide of potassium and many other substances 
which might be named that are of an irritant character. The truth 
of this is exemplified in the almost every-day experience of the physi- 
cian and pharmacist. For the reasons here stated, physicians are not 
unfrequently in the habit of prescribing " old opium pills " in prefer- 
ence to those freshly made (see " Pil. Opii," U. S. D.) ; and if this 
be true in the case of opium, why should it not also be true in regard 
to many other medicinal substances. I believe that the fears enter- 
tained by some concerning the inefficiency and untrustworthiness of 
pills that are not freshly made to be more imaginary than real. I do 
not believe that there is any disadvantage in pills being old and hard if 
properly made, whether coated or plain, provided they have been 
properly preserved, and do not contain any ingredients liable to change 
or spoil by time and exposure. They may, perhaps, not dissolve quite 
so quickly as newly-made pills, but will dissolve more gradually and in 
due time, and be as complete and as thorough in effect and less liable 
to perturb the system. I have sold uncoated cathartic pills of differ- 
ent kinds, which I have kept on hand for years, and never found them 
less efficient than when they were freshly made. Slow and gradual 
solution throughout the digestive organs favors absorption by present- 
ing successively fresh portions of the medicinal ingredients to the 
mucous membrane, and thus permitting them to be absorbed, par- 
ticle by particle, through the whole course of the alimentary canal 
without irritating or fatiguing the organs ; especially is this true of all 
tonic and alterative pills. 

It is surprising what increased power remedies sometimes acquire 
when presented in small but successive fresh portions at a time to the 
mucous surface of the stomach and intestines. It is this frequent repe- 
tition of minute doses which gives homoeopathy its success when it 
derives any at all from medication. We often see ipecac and other 


Sugar-coated Pills. 

( Am. Jour. Pharm. 
\ Mar., 1877. 

emetics and nauseants, as well as purgatives, produce excessive action 
when given in minute doses and repeated every hour or so, whereas 
five times the dose might be given at once without, perhaps, produc- 
ing any sensible effect. 1 

It would seem that many pharmacists labor under the erroneous 
impression that digestion is conducted alone in the stomach, but this is 
a great mistake. 2 

Gastric digestion is only the first stage or commencement of the 
process. After a pill has been subjected to the solvent action and 
digestive power of the fluids of the stomach and the rough handling it 
receives from the muscular .movements of that organ, 3 if it is not 
dissolved, it then passes to the duodenum, where it meets with the 
secretions of the pancreas and liver and those of the villous coat of 
the intestinal canal, which, together with the gastric and salivary 
fluids which have passed the pylorus from the stomach intermingled 
with the chyme, forms a combination of greater digestive and solvent 
power than that of the stomach itself. 4 

1 Dr. Dunglison, in his " Therapeutics and Materia Medica," vol. 1, page 168, 
"well elucidates this fact by a case which he says the late Dr. James Gregory, of 
Edinburgh, was in the habit of relating in his lectures: "A boy was directed to 
^take an ounce of Epsom salt, but having a strong objection to the taste of the 
•cathartic, resolved to form it into pills with crumb of bread. On making the pills 
•of an appropriate size, he found they amounted to three hundred and sixty, a num- 
ber so near to that of the days of the year that he determined to make it correspond 
entirely. Accordingly he divided them into three hundred and sixty-five portions, 
and took them all, one after the other. The effect was extraordinary. The most 
violent hypercatharsis was induced, so as to endanger his life. This was owing, 
probably, to the gradual and successive breaking down of the pills in the canal, so 
that particle after particle came in contact with the mucous membrane." 

2 Dr. Reese, in his " Analysis of Physiology," page 172, says: "A more com- 
plete digestion, in fact, takes place in the upper portion of the intestines than in the 
stomach itself." 

3 Dr. Reese, loc. cit , page 167, says: "When the food has reached the stomach 
It is subjected to a peculiar peristaltic movement. This is produced by the contrac- 
tion and relaxation of the various fasciculi of the muscular coat; it causes a com- 
plete revolution of the contents, in every direction, and a consequent thorough 

4 " The fluid of the small intestines, which is compounded by the intermixture of 
the biliary and pancreatic secretions with the salivary and gastric fluids, and with the 
secretions of the intestinal glandulae, appears to possess the very peculiar power of 
dissolving or of reducing to an absorbable condition alimentary substances of every 
class, thus possessing more of the character of a ' universal solvent ' than either of 

Am. Jour. Pharm ) 
Mar., 1877. { 

Sugar-coated Pills, 

IT 5 

From the duodenum it passes on through the remainder of the small 
intestines, and through this long and turbulent route of about twenty- 
five feet of intestinal tube it is subjected to the warmth and solvent 
action of the secretions and fluids of the canal and the attrition and 
peristaltic movement of the bowels, which promotes rapid solution and 
disintegration. 1 

From the small intestine the pill passes into the large intestines, and 
•even here it is confronted with fluids destructive to its entirety ; for it 
is the opinion of some physiologists (see " Kirk's and Paget's Physi- 
ology, " page 199) that the caecum also secretes an acid fluid similar to 
the gastric juice, capable of digesting substances which have eluded or 
resisted the action of the stomach and passed unchanged through the 
small intestines. If digestion and absorption did not take place to 
some extent in the lower portion of the intestinal canal, what would 
become of the excremental matter that would accumulate in the lower 
bowels of persons who suffer from obstinate and protracted constipa- 
tion, who are sometimes for weeks or even months at a time without 
a passage, yet who diurnally take their usual quantity of food. The 
average quantity of excrementitious matter daily ejected by an adult 
is estimated by physiologists at from four to six ounces. There must 
certainly be some provision made by nature in the lower portion of the 
intestines for the solution, or reduction to an absorbable condition of 
the large amount of solid matter which would accumulate in protracted 
cases of torpid bowels. Of course, as is well known, about three- 
fourths of this matter is of an aqueous character, which may be grad- 
ually absorbed by long contact with the mucous coat of the bowels ; 
but there must still remain, in some cases, a large bulk of solid and 

•these secretions has in its separate state." (" Carpenter's Principles of Human Phy- 
siology," page 432.) 

In reference to the digestive power of the fluids of the intestinal canal, Dr 
Dalton [loc. cit., page 145) says: "Although the separate actions of these digestive 
fluids, however, commence at different parts of the alimentary canal, they afterward 
go on simultaneously in the small intestines 5 and the changes which take place 
here, and which constitute the process of intestinal digestion, form at the same time 
one of the most complicated and one of the most important parts of the whole 
digestive function." 

1 " The process of digestion and conversion are probably continued during the 
entire transit of the alimentary matter along the small intestine, and at the same 
time the products of that conversion are gradually being withdrawn by absorbent 
action." (Carpenter, loc. cit. t page 433.) 

1 1 6 Sugar-coated Pills. { Am £% f ^ 

extremely indigestible matter, which must undergo a thorough transfor- 
mation before it can be taken up by the absorbents, and which, if it 
should remain would produce great discomfort or even endanger life. 
This labor must be performed either by the fluids which pass down 
intermingled with the solid matter, or else by the secretions of that 
portion of the intestines themselves. 

But even should this not be the case and such a fluid not be present,, 
the pill, while sojourning here and in the remaining portion of the 
bowels, will nevertheless be subjected to the softening and solvent 
action of the warmth and moisture of the parts, and the disintegrating 
effects of peristaltic action, while at the same time absorption will take 
place, even from this remote region, and the medicinal ingredients will 
exert their therapeutic effects in a measure, if not to their full extent, 
because whenever a medicinal substance comes in contact with a 
mucous membrane or an absorbing surface, under favorable conditions,, 
it will be taken up and exert its medicinal effects. This is illustrated 
by the effect of medicines and alimentary substances when adminis- 
tered per rectum, or when medicinal substances are administered per 
vagina, or when applied to a denuded surface or injected into the 
veins or under the skin, or when absorbed from the mucous membrane 
of the air passages. 

Thus we see that a pill finds no quiescent state or haven of rest 
from the moment it enters the cardiac orifice until it passes the exit 
gate of the rectum ; and it would seem to me that a pill, whether 
coated or uncoated, new or old, would have to be insoluble, indeed, to 
be able to stand the thorough trituration that it receives in the stomach 
and then to pass unchanged through the entire intestinal canal, a dis- 
tance of about thirty-five feet. Therefore I would say that a pill that 
could run the gauntlet of such an ordeal deserves to escape. And 
what though a refractory pill should occasionally be found capable of 
such a feat, and " live to purge another day," this would not warrant 
us in unqualifiedly denouncing the practice of sugar-coating pills, a 
practice which confers such a blessing upon the invalid. Because we 
discern a spot upon the sun's disc, that is no reason why we should at 
once extinguish that glorious luminary. 

Since the hue and cry against sugar coated pills has been started I 
have heard a great many outlandish stories told concerning them by 
medical men. A friend of mine in one of our wholesale drug houses 

Am. Jour. Pharm. > 
Mar., 1877. / 

Sugar-coated Pills. 


informed me some time ago of a physician in Chester county, Pa., 
who told him that he had in his possession a half-pint bottle filled with 
•sugar-coated pills, which he had garnered, that had passed through the 
alimentary canals of his patients unchanged. Another physician, resid- 
ing in this city, informed a friend of mine that he had found hahdfuls 
•of sugar-coated pills that had passed from his patients unscathed. 
Now, I don't like to question the veracity of these gentlemen, but I 
am constrained to say that I don't believe these stories. 

" Lest men suspect your tale untrue, 
Keep probability in view." 

I think that I would be safe in offering five dollars apiece for all the 
•sugar coated pills made by any of our reputable manufacturers that can 
be obtained and presented under oath as having passed the alimentary 
canal undissolved under ordinary conditions of that organ. I doubt 
very much if enough could be collected within a year in the United 
States to fill a half-ounce bottle. I really think that these over-zealous 
relic-hunters have mistaken cherry-stones for sugar-coated pills. 

When the mucous coat of the stomach and bowels are in such an 
excited and irritable condition as is sometimes the case in diarrhoea, dysen- 
tery, cholera morbus, etc., peristaltic action may be so excessive as to 
hasten the passage of substances to such a gait that time might not be 
given for solution or perfect digestion to take place. Under such cir- 
cumstances it might be possible for a pill, whether coated or uncoated, 
new or old, to pass through the alimentary canal undissolved. Under 
such conditions, even portions of food may pass whole or unchanged^ 
which under ordinary circumstances would be very digestible. But 
these are exceptionable cases, and even in such cases, I believe particles 
of very digestible food would be more likely to pass undigested than 
would medicinal substances, because such remedies as would be admin- 
istered in such cases would be likely to, temporarily at least, control 
and restrain inordinate peristaltic action, so as to allow a pill to be dis- 
solved when portions of food might pass unchanged. 

I have, in another part of this paper, said that in the case of pills 
that were to be administered in diarrhoea, etc., or that were desired to 
act promptly, there might be some advantage in their being freshly 
made and uncoated, but I question very much whether there is actu- 
ally any advantage accruing therefrom even in such cases. Observa- 
tion and experience in the use of this form of medication would seem 

1 1 8 

Sugar-coated Pills. 

f Am. Jour. Phanru 
\ Mar., 1877. 

to indicate that this was not the case. During the whole course of my 
early experience in pharmacy, I had occasion to make large quantities 
of a pill composed of opium, camphor and capsicum. This pill with 
many physicians was extremely popular. It was considered almost a spe- 
cific in diarrhoea, dysentery, cholera morbus, and during the prevalence 
of epidemic cholera it was used by a great number of physicians of my 
acquaintance with the greatest success, in fact it was their sheet-anchor 
of treatment. These pills we used to make up in quantities of thou- 
sands at a time. This was almost before sugar-coating was thought 
of, or at least before it was introduced to any extent. 

The excipient employed in making these pills was gum arabic and 
water, the most insoluble excipient that could be employed, and these 
pills were often kept on hand for months before they were used, yet 
no complaint was ever heard of their tardiness of action or inefficiency. 
One physician of my acquaintance, the late Dr. Wm. S. Latta, of 
near Parksburg, Pa., employed these pills very extensively in his prac- 
tice. I used to prepare them for him in lots of from five hundred to & 
thousand at a time, which, under ordinary circumstances, would last 
him for a ytar or longer. Yet he never found these pills to lose their 
virtues by the petrifying hand of time, although they were used in 
diseases in which the alimentary canal is in the most sensitive and irri- 
table state, and in the most unfavorable condition for solution, absorp- 
tion and assimilation. This is not only my experience in the pill trade, 
but I have no doubt it has been the experience of thousands of other 
pharmacists who have had a long and large experience, and who have 
been observing. 

This is the best kind of evidence of the power of the stomach and. 
intestinal canal to dissolve pills that have been long kept and that are 
uncoated, while it speaks in thunder-tones in favor of pills that are 
coated ; because if pills are found to be soluble and active that have 
been kept for years uncoated, how much more soluble would they be 
when carefully made and properly sugar-coated. Besides, whoever 
heard of frequent complaints, by physicians or any one else, of the 
insolubility or inefficiency of pills, either coated or uncoated, until this 
terrible " bug-a-boo " of insolubility of sugar-coated pills put in an 
appearance, notwithstanding millions of boxes of the various proprie- 
tary pills have been sold for years and years, and thousands of pounds 
of officinal and semi-officinal pills, saying nothing about the mongrel. 

Am. Jour. Pharm. 
Mar , 1877. 

Sugar-coated Pills. 


varieties dispensed over the counters of pharmacists and from the 
offices of physicians all over the country. Many of these pills, both 
proprietary and those of regular pharmacy, had been kept on hand for 
years until, I might say, they have almost grown grey with age before- 
they were used, yet were found to have retained their pristine and youth- 
ful activity and energy, and no sepulchral voice was ever heard, or if 
at all, very rarely against their efficiency. 

It is by the practical experience and close observation in the sale and 
use of medicines of this kind that this question or problem of solubility 
or insolubility can be settled, and it is only upon this kind of testi- 
mony that any man, either physician or pharmacist, can base an intel- 
ligent judgment, and not upon hypothesis or the idle speculations of 
theorists, whose opinions are often like " airy nothings." 

Even the coating of pills with silver and gold leaf, which was at one 
time so much in vogue, has been found by experience not to interfere 
with their solubility. Prof. Parrish, in his "Pharmacy," page 802, 
1864, remarks, " Since the issue of the former edition of this work, 
the ancient practice of coating pills with silver and gold leaf has been, 
revived." Same volume, page 803, he also says, u The former belief 
that a coating with metallic leaf, if sufficient to hide the taste and smell 
of the pills, would interfere with their solubility, has been very much 
modified by recent experience." 

We want for testing the relative solubility of sugar-coated pills or 
of any other kind of pills in the alimentary canal, not test-tubes, tum- 
blers or other utensils and artificial gastric juice, but what we want for 
this important purpose are living human alimentary canals. The pill 
which may be most soluble in artificial mixtures might be the last to 
return to its elementary condition in the gastric and intestinal fluids. 

This question is strictly within the domain of the careful and intel- 
ligent therapeutist and the experienced and close observer of the action 
of medicines upon the human organism ; and the hospital, dispensary 
and the private practice of the physician are fields pregnant with 
opportunities for experiment. 

The action of the various secretions of the alimentary canal, and the 
influences that are at work in that living crucible, are in a great mea- 
sure shrouded in doubt, and in the present state of science inscrutable 
to man. We can only imperfectly judge of their action by certain 
phenomena and results. 

I 20 

Sugar-coated Pills. 

Am. Jour. Pharm. 
Mar., 1877. 

Besides, the materials of which pills are usually composed, will much 
more quickly dissolve or liquify in the fluids of the alimentary canal 
than will ordinary alimentary substances. In the former there is not 
that obstinate cohesion to overcome in order to reduce to an absorbable 
condition, that would be presented by the muscular fibre and vegetable 
tissue and other tough and insoluble parts of alimentary substances. 
Almost any pill-coating or pill-mass will dissolve and readily disintegrate 
by simple maceration for a few hours in water at the temperature of 
ioo°, with occasional agitation, whereas you might soak a piece of beef 
steak or cabbage for some time before you would reduce it to a state of 

There is still another very important circumstance in the history of 
the digestive process, which seems to have been overlooked, or its 
importance not properly estimated in the consideration of this subject, 
and that is the length of time a pill, under ordinary circumstances, 
would be likely to be subjected to the solvent and digestive powers of 
the fluids of the alimentary canal in its passage. It is estimated by 
physiologists that alimentary substances average from one to two days 
in their transit along the intestinal tube, and from two to five hours or 
longer are spent in the stomach. This slow passage and long macera- 
tion in the corroding juices of the canal must insure, beyond peradven- 
ture, the thorough solution of any pill-coating or pill-mass, unless of 
adamantine hardness. If hyperesthesia of the intestinal tube or other 
morbid condition should exist which may accelerate peristaltic move- 
ment, of course a more rapid transit would be likely to take place. 
But again, there are frequently inactive and comparatively stagnant 
conditions of the intestinal canal, in which a pill may loiter for days or 
even longer. 

The great length of the intestinal tube, which is about six times the 
length of the entire body, with its numerous convolutions and varied 
secretions, is wisely provided by nature to adapt it to the work of a 
thorough digestion and absorption of indigestible alimentary matters, etc. 

Upon inquiry I find that the materials most generally employed by 
sugar-coated pill manufacturers for making their coating, is sugar and 
starch, only a few add a trace of gum Arabic. It must therefore be 
evident to every intelligent pharmacist or other persons having a 
knowledge of the solvent power of aqueous fluids, when maintained at 
the temperature of ioo°, over any mass composed of such materials, 

Am. Jour. Pharm. ) 
Mar., 1877. j 

Sugar-coated Pills. 


that even the simple maceration of a pill in the juices of the intestinal 
canal, for from 24 to 48 hours, under the influence of the constant 
agitation of peristaltic action, leaving out of the question gastric 
digestion, would be sufficient to dissolve any pill-coating made of the 
above materials, even if the intestinal fluids possessed no greater solvent 
power than simple water. 

Since the opposition to sugar-coated pills started, several manufac- 
turers of gelatin-coated and " compressed " pills have loomed into 
prominence. The chief virtue upon which these manufacturers base 
their superiority over sugar-coated pills, and ask for them a preference, 
is their asserted greater solubility, and it is this assumed merit alone 
which, with judicious advertising, has secured them a passport to a cer- 
tain amount of favor among physicians. 

Now, I am for progress always, and the profession will find me an 
ever zealous advocate of any change in the form of any remedy that will 
augment its therapeutic virtues or render its administration more easy, 
and which carries with it real improvement ; but to introduce a change 
or multiply forms simply for the sake of novelty, or to gratify whims 
or caprice, which will at the same time complicate the business of the 
pharmacist and lead to confusion, such innovations I shall ever oppose 
to the extent of my feeble influence. 

The " compressed" and "gelatin-coated" pills, in my opinion, are 
simply novelties, and very expensive ones at that, especially the former. 
I have never heard complaints urged against the oval shape of the 
gelatin-coated pills, which, however, I deem objectionable, as rendering 
them difficult to swallow, but I have heard customers complain of 
the flat form of the compressed pills, rendering them more difficult 
to swallow than that of the round sugar-coated pills. Where there 
is one person that could more readily swallow a flat or oval body, 
there are fifty who would prefer to swallow a round one. 

As the compressed or gelatin coated pills possess no real therapeutic 
superiority, nor any advantages in point of ease of administration 
over the ordinary sugar-coated pills, I consider their introduction seri- 
ously objectionable. Such innovations only tend to entail greater trouble 
and annoyance upon both the physician and pharmacist, complicate the 
business of the latter and lead to confusion with the former, without 
conferring compensatory advantages upon either. To keep a full stock 
of all the varieties of compressed and coated pills would involve an 


Sugar-coated Pills. 

Am. Jour. Pharm, 
Mar , 1877. 

amount of capital almost equal to that required to furnish the ordinary- 
stock of a small retail drug store. 

If physicians and pharmacists continue to give their sanction and 
encouragement to the popularization of every new-fangled novelty, 
in the shape of anybody's coated pills, there is no telling where this 
thing will end. They will be likely to increase and multiply ad 
infinitum, until the coated pill business will soon become as great a 
nuisance and as troublesome to pharmacists, if not more so, than the 
" Elixir " business was, which some members of our profession com- 
plained so bitterly of. 

If these pills were prescribed by the generic titles of " compressed " 
or " gelatin-coated," without the name of any particular manufacturer 
being specified, then the trouble and annoyance to the pharmacist would 
not be so great. Many of our wholesale manufacturers of pharma- 
ceutical products have recently engaged in the manufacture of both 
compressed and gelatin-coated pills, and as many more, I have no doubt„ 
will soon enter these tc fresh fields and pastures new," and if the thing 
takes, there is no telling how many more will get at it. And all, of 
course, anxious to introduce their particular make of pills, will flood the 
entire domain of both physic and pharmacy with circulars to induce 
physicians to prescribe and pharmacists to buy their products. So, as I 
have said, if we are to keep a full assortment of everybody's make of 
compressed and gelatin-coated pills, in addition to our regular and 
staple sugar-coated stock, what are we to do ? It will soon be neces- 
sary for us to not only increase our capital stock, but also to enlarge our 
places of business to afford increased accommodations for their storage. 

I have, in common, no doubt, with many others of my brethren^ 
already experienced a foretaste of the inconvenience and trouble that 
the advent of these new varieties of pills are likely to cause. Every 
once in a while we receive a prescription for somebody's compressed 
or gelatin-coated pills, which perhaps are for some impecunious indi- 
vidual who possibly has hardly the means to buy bread, and we are 
compelled to send out to some remote pharmacist, whose peculiar 
location gives him sufficient demand for these sporadic pharmacals to 
warrant him keeping a stock of them on hand. We there procure 
these pills, and pay so high a price for them that we are obliged, in the 
majority of cases, to charge almost the same price for them without 
any compensation for our trouble and annoyance. For if we were to 

Am. Jour. Pharm. ) 
Mar., 1877. J 

Sugar-coated Pills. 

charge a reasonable profit, our customer would accuse us of extortion 
while the physician would come in for his share of censure for pre- 
scribing such high-priced remedies. Thus, the price alone I consider a 
very serious objection to these pills. 

The gelatin-coated pills, although somewhat higher priced than the 
sugar-coated, yet are much more reasonable than the compressed. As 
an illustration of this, I will here quote the net list prices of a manu- 
facturer, whose compressed pills have attained prominence and are 
very generally prescribed by physicians in this city, comparing them 
with the net prices of sugar-coated pills of our leading manuac- 

Compressed. Sugar-coated. 
Compound cathartic pills, per hundred, . . . $1.12 25 to 30 cents. 
Sulphate of quinia, 1 grain, " . . .1.57 70 to 95 " 

Lady Webster's pills, " ... 1.12 25 " 

Compound rhubarb, " . . .1.12 38 " 

Thus it will be seen that the prices of compressed will average about 
four times the price of the same kind of sugar coated pills of our best 
manufacturers. And what is this enhanced price all for, which every 
man, woman and child will have to pay, when these pills are pre- 
scribed ? It is simply, in my opinion, for the shape of the pill, which 
I consider not so good or desirable as that of the sugar-coated pill. 

These prices I regard as excessive, considering the cost of the 
material, labor and time in manufacturing. Now, if there was any 
earthly advantage therapeutically in these pills over the sugar-coated 
ones, there would then be something to justify the physician in pre- 
scribing them ; but it will require some stronger evidence to convince 
me of their superiority than the mere asseveration of their patentees or 
manufacturers. We want, in my opinion, no better pill than the 
sugar-coated, when it is properly made. Sugar-coating, when well 
done, is the very acme of elegance of all forms of coating. 

So far as the sugar-coating of pills is concerned, I believe that all of 
our more reputable manufacturers vie with each other in the beauty,, 
elegance and perfection of their coating, and also pay due regard to 
the solubility. This they would do for the sake of their own reputa- 
tions and for the popularity of their products. There are, I have no 
doubt, some who might not be over-conscientious about substituting 
cinchonia for quinia or podophyllin for extract of jalap, in the pill 
mass, and who would not deign to spoil the coating for the sake of 


Sugar-coated Pills. 

(Am. Jour. Pharm. 
\ Mar., 1877. 

saving a few cents. This would be too like " spoiling the ship for 
a shilling's worth of tar." 

I have no fear myself of the solubility of pills in the alimentary canal, 
whether they be coated with sugar or gelatin or compressed. What 
I would dread more than anything else in ready-made pills would be 
the deception and fraud which might be practised by dishonest manu- 
facturers in the selection and proportionment of the ingredients. 
Although, I must confess, that I have much faith in the probity and 
conscientiousness of most manufacturers, and believe the sugar-coated 
pills of our leading houses to be about as reliable as any other class of 
pharmaceuticals which we buy ready-made, and which we have no 
means of ascertaining the quality of by convenient and reliable tests. 
We, of course, with sjgar-coated pills, as with extracts, fluid 
extracts, powders, etc., have to rely upon the honesty of the manu- 
facturers for their purity and proper nroportions of the materials used 
in their fabrication, and the care and skill employed in their production* 

The only plan that can be adopted by the pharmacist to avert the 
danger of the deception to which he is liable by the faulty composition 
of ready-made pills, is for him to make in his own laboratory all his 
own pills, and then send them to some skillful and reliable person and 
have them coated to his own order, if he has not the facilities for doing 
so. By this means he can always feel assured of the quality of his 
pills, and can recommend them to his customers and to physicians 
with confidence. This, in fact, every pharmacist should do, not only 
with sugar-coated pills, but with every pharmaceutical preparation he 
sells that he is capable of making properly. 

Unfortunately, however, too many pharmacists, like the retail 
clothier, buy their goods ready-made — a practice too reprehensible to 
need comment. Of course there are some preparations for which the 
demand is too limited to warrant the pharmacist in making ; the time, 
trouble and waste of material in the preparation of so small a quantity 
would often deter him, and very justly too, from the task. But all phar- 
maceuticals, for which there is a reasonable demand, should be made by 
the pharmacist himself. 

Before quitting this subject, it may not be improper for me to 
address a word or offer a few suggestions to the manufacturers of sugar- 
coated pills, although what I may offer may not be new to many. 

In coating pills of asafcetida, iodide and protocarbonate of iron, or 

\ * , - 73 

A Var U , r ;8 P 7 5 arm } Sugar-coated Pills. ; 12$ 

those containing camphor, myrrh, phosphorus or any of the vol 
oils, or in fact, any volatile or readily oxidizable substance, the greatest 
care should be exercised to avoid exposure to too high a temperature. 
The desiccation should, I think, be conducted in a dry atmos- 
phere, at the ordinary temperature. This would involve a longer 
exposure, but it would entail less risk of partial decomposition or volati- 
lization of the active ingredients. And in all pills containing such 
or similar substances, would it not be well to first give them a coat of 
tolu before that of si'gar is applied ? Would not such a plan aid 
very greatly in preserving such pills from change or loss of activity 
when long kept ? With the fear of that awful " bug-bear " of inso- 
lubility before their eyes, sugar-coated pill manufacturers often commit 
the error of coating their pills before they are properly dried. In 
consequence of this, the moisture often soaks through the coating, the 
pills become discolored, often taste of the ingredients and are unfit for 
sale. All pills should of course be dried with care, preparatory to 
coating, but unless they contain any volatile or oxidizable substances, 
rapid drying to the proper condition for coating can do them no possible 

The object of this paper is to show the injustice and to demonstrate 
the utter fallacy of the tirade against sugar-coated pills. 

In order to convince my readers of the sincerity of what I have 
said, and to attest my faith in the powers of the bu?nan alimentary 
canal to dissolve any properly made sugar-coated pill, I make the fol- 
lowing offer : I will present to any chemist, physician or pharmacist in 
the United States, as a reward of merit, the sum of twenty-five dollars^ 
who will manufacture a pill-coating from the same kind of materials, 
and in the same proportions, and by the same process usually adopted 
by our best manufacturers of sugar-coated pills, which will render a 
sixth, quarter and half grain morphia pill, or the officinal compound 
cathartic pill, insoluble and inoperative, and fail of producing their char- 
acteristic therapeutic effects when properly administered, under any 
physiological conditions of the system or alimentary canal in which 
these same kinds of pills will display their usual medicinal effects 
when freshly made and uncoated. 

I wish it to be understood that in writing this paper I have " no 
friends to reward nor enemies to punish"; I merely write in the inter- 
ests of science, my profession and for the welfare of the sick. In writing 

126 Ready Test for Arsenical Compounds, { A \ ] ™-J 7 T m ' 

upon such an important subject, I feel it incumbent upon me, as it 
should be upon any one, to speak the truth and give expression to my 
honest convictions, " hew to the line, let the chips fly where they 


I have given this subject much thought and careful consideration, 
and have treated it in this minute and thorough, and, I hope, impar- 
tial manner which its importance demands ; and should I have, inad- 
vertently, made any erroneous statement, I shall be most happy to 
have any physician or pharmacist who may be more enlightened upon 
the subject than myself, to correct me. 
Philadelphia , Pa., February, 1877. 


By Edward Gaillard, Ph.G. 
Read at the Pharmaceutical Meeting, February zoth. 

Who is the pharmacist that has not been called upon by his patrons 
or the physician to know, at once, if this powder or that liquid did not 
contain ratsbane or arsenic, and often been obliged to make some excuse 
for the lack of knowledge, or felt the want of a more simple and 
ready test for the detection of arsenic, than the old, time-honored one 
of Marsh's. If we have the apparatus, or extemporize one, are we 
positive that it is free, at all time, of traces of that metal from previous 
operations ; besides it labors under many serious disadvantages. First, 
that sulphuric acid ; secondly, that metallic zinc, which are employed 
in the test, may, one or other of them, or even both, contain more 
or less of arsenic as an impurity, and thus the indications of that 
substance obtained may be due not to its existing in the suspected 
matter under investigation. I may add that it is difficult to get, in 
commerce, zinc and sulphuric acid perfectly free from arsenic. 

The test proposed by Edmund W. Davy, professor of forensic 
medicine in the Royal College of Surgeons, of Ireland, is one of such 
simplicity, and has proved so practical in my hands that I would 
recommend it to the pharmacist desiring be to Probus Paratus, always 
ready, at the instant, to decide at once when life and death depend upon 
his knowledge, and is so easy of execution that it may be performed 
by almost any one, and found practical for the object stated, especially 
to those who are not conversant with the details of chemical manipula- 

A Va°r U , r i877. arm '} Ready Test for Arsenical Compounds. 127 

tion. It is a modification of Marsh's test, a well known method, and 
is founded on the circumstance that nascent hydrogen, in the presence 
of certain compounds of arsenic, will give rise to the formation of 
arseniuretted hydrogen ; and thus very minute quantities of arsenic, 
under different circumstances, can be readily detected. 

The modification used is the employment of an amalgam of sodium 
and mercury as a means of generating the hydrogen required for the 
test, and by the use of this substance do away with, altogether, the 
necessity of any acid, and employ two metals which are not liable to 
arsenical contamination. As to sodium, arsenic has never been pointed 
out as cne of its impurities, and as to its presence in mercury, that is 
a circumstance of very rare occurrence ; should it exist in that metal 
as an impurity, it can be readily removed from it by digesting the 
mercury in dilute nitric acid, and afterwards well washing it with water. 

The amalgam found to answer best for the test consists of one part, 
by weight, of sodium to eight or ten parts of mercury, and is easily 
made by heating, moderately, in a test-tube, over a lamp, the mercury, 
and then adding gradually, in small pieces, the sodium, taking care to 
keep the mouth of the tube away from the face, if unprotected, lest 
some of that metal, in an ignited state, might be spurted out during 
the additions of the first portions. 

The metals combine readily under these circumstances, forming an 
alloy that is liquid whilst hot, but becomes hard and brittle when cold. 
The contents of the tube, while still hot and liquid, are quickly poured 
out on a clean plate, when cool broken up for future use, and imme- 
diately placed in a stoppered bottle. The way to employ this amal- 
gam is simply to place the suspected matter, or solution, along with a 
little water, in the bottom of a test glass or a tumbler ; then add a 
small bit of amalgam, about the size of a grain of wheat ; and, lastly, 
place, without delay, on the top of the glass a piece of white filtering 
paper or the cover of a white porcelain crucible, moistened with a drop 
of a dilute solution of nitrate of silver, slightly acidulated with nitric 
acid, when, if arsenic is present, a dull black or deep brown stain on 
the paper, or a dark silvery one on the porcelain, will be quickly devel- 
oped in the part moistened, owing to the silver of the salt being reduced 
to a metallic condition by the arseniuretted hydrogen thus evolved. 

The silver solution, found to answer well for this purpose, is made 

1 28 Ready Test for Arsenical Compounds. { Km ^J^ m - 

by dissolving 20 grains of nitrate in an ounce of distilled water, adding 
2 drops of nitric acid, to render the solution slightly acid. Exceedingly 
minute quantities of arsenic can be readily detected by this very simple 
process. Thus one-one thousandth part of a grain of arsenious acid 
dissolved in 1 cc. of distilled water gives a very decided effect in a 
few moments, and even a smaller quantity can be detected ; as, for 
example, one drop of Fowler's solution in an ounce of water will indi- 
cate in a little time by the blackening of the silver salt. I may further 
state that the presence of organic matter seems to interfere but little 
with this test ; for I have found that very minute quantities of arse- 
nious acid, when mixed with considerable amounts of milk, tea, coffee, 
ale or porter, or flour, could, with almost the same facility, be detected 
by this method, showing the applications are very extended. 

Antimony is the only metal which is capable of uniting with nascent 
hydrogen to form a gas (antimoniuretted hydrogen), which, coming in 
contact with nitrate of silver, produces black antimonide of that metal j 
and the blackening of the silver salt from the formation of that com- 
pound might be easily mistaken for the effect produced by the arsenical 

The fact, first pointed out by Fleitmann, that antimoniuretted hydro- 
gen is not evolved (except, perhaps, as a mere trace) from strongly 
alkaline solutions, though the conditions may exist there for its forma- 
tion, and as the action of the sodium amalgam is to render the mixture 
quickly alkaline, there will be only a very minute quantity of the anti- 
mony that may be present so evolved ; and by previously rendering the 
mixture strongly alkaline, we may altogether prevent the evolution of 
that gas. 

If, however, we make the mixture containing the antimony in solu- 
tion first strongly acid, and then add the amalgam, or even acidify after 
its addition, the antimoniuretted hydrogen will be evolved in abun- 
dance, producing a deep black stain on the paper moistened with the 
nitrate of silver, and, for the purpose of this acidification, tartaric acid, 
answers very well. 

As the presence of alkalies in solution does not interfere with the 
evolution of the arsenical gas, this itself is a means of distinguishing, 
the two metals, arsenic and antimonv. 

Am. Jour. Pharm. \ 
Mar., 1877. J 




By Rich. V. Mattison, Ph.G. 
[Read at the Pharmaceutical Meeting, Feb, 20.) 

Adulterations and sophistications are extensively practised. A large 
number of such articles are sold and used through the drug trade, and 
there is a certain demand among a large class of its members for cheap 
drugs, without regard to quality ; the entire scrutiny being directed to 
the quantity delivered, and the price at which it is invoiced. 

The apparently simple article of beeswax, for instance, is adulterated 
in every conceivable way, with almost every article at all analogous to 
it in physical properties. Paraffin, rosin, stearin and Japan wax, are 
employed, or a mixture of all these ; the latest sophistication, we 
believe, being a mixture of rosin and paraffin, coated — electroplated as 
it were, with pure wax. 

The fecula of arrowroot is perhaps rarely sold without admixture 
with other starches, and balsam of tolu and copaiba are so frequently 
adulterated as to need only mention in passing. The article known as 
Oregon Balsam of Fir has been one of peculiar interest, and the source 
of it was satisfactorily explained in the last number of the Jour- 
nal, thanks to our friend Dr. Miller, who by the way, we think 
rather throws the blame of adulterations upon the Western trade. 
The firm mentioned as soaking off the labels of the easterm manufac- 
turers of quinia, etc., and adulterating with cinchonia hydrochloate^ 
salicin, etc., and who had also dies prepared and tinfoil caps made with 
the same design, letters and general facsimile style of the ones adopted 
by the Eastern manufacturers referred to, and who took the headings 
from barrels of borax and citric acid, partially filling the same with 
crushed crystals of alum and tartaric acid respectively, who also 
removed half the acid from the fifty pound boxes of tartaric acid, fil- 
ing the same with cream of tartar which itself had been previously 
adulterated with calcium and potassium sulphates, and of whom a 
thousand more acts of a similar nature with which we are conversant 
might be mentioned, and who by the way are now out of business, 
were it is true a Western firm, but we think it due to their associates to 
say that when the expose took place, they refused to have any dealings 
with the firm referred to, both openly and privately discountenancing 
the whole proceeding. 



( Am. Tour. Pharm. 
( Mar., 1877. 

The Eastern trade is just as prone to this evil of adulteration as the 
Western or Southern. We have in our mind's eye a firm in our own 
city whom we doubt if ever shipped alcohol to their customers without 
the requisite quantity of water being added to furnish the desirable 
margin of profit. Chloroform is diluted with alcohol, spirit of nitrous 
ether with the same, cottonseed oil is sent out for " finest olive oil," 
as the article obtained from Olea Europea is evidently a myth in the 
minds of the proprietors. Concentrated glycerin is diluted with water 
and sold as 14 pure glycerin," oil of turpentine is invariably sophisticated 
with benzin, and flaxseed oil undergoes the same treatment. Tolu has 
the rosin dodge, and copaiba the castor oil device, and nothing leaves the 
establishment that can be tampered with without the same being done. 
In short, the whole history of the firm is one of sophistication, fraud and 
deceit ; it is but a repetition of that of many others, and the disgrace to 
pharmacy lies not so much in the fact that the articles are adulterated 
as in the fact that the adulterated articles are sold openly and without 
question so long as they are a little cheaper than those sold by the trade 

Now what is the remedy for this ? It lies in a more liberal educa- 
tion, in the cultivation of a more liberal spirit toward the seller of drugs 
and other articles. Let us illustrate : a traveler visits the retailer in his 
regular rounds and offers, say bitartrate of potassium and calcined mag- 
nesium a few cents under the market price of these articles ; the latter 
purchases the same and after seeing that the articles are of correct 
weight his responsibility ceases. 

Does it cease ? Unfortunately such is usually the case, but does not 
the fact that he has bought it under the market price of the same, rouse 
some suspicion as to its character ? Is he not morally criminal until he 
satisfies himself of the purity of the article in question ? Let it be 
understood that we do not object to anyone buying things cheaply. This 
in many cases is the secret of success, let everyone buy as cheaply as 
they can, but of course the smaller the margin of profit the greater the 
temptation to adulteration, and we do insist that no one has a right to 
purchase goods under market or at any price, for that matter, and dis- 
pense the same without examining them closely regarding quality. 

Again it is very frequently the case that adulterated articles are dis- 
pensed by the retailer, with a full knowledge of this fact and without 
any compunctions of conscience. 

Am ^a°"i8 7 h 7 arm - } Detection of Castor Oil in Copaiba. 1 3 1 

The only remedy for this lies in a higher, broader more liberal educa- 
tion. It lies in breaking off from the humdrum every-day life of the 
shop, where the dispensing of senna and salts, chamomile and castor 
oil, manna and magnesia, and the endless routine of little things are apt 
to narrow one's ideas and make the need of a little relaxation through 
attendance at the pharmaceutical meetings, through the meetings of the 
Association, and through a a large and liberal reading of the current phar- 
maceutical literature of the day an urgent necessity. Examinations by 
reagents, by physical characteristics, by the microscope, of all articles 
bought, whether from reputable parties or not, are imperative. No 
pharmacist should, and no thorough pharmacist will, ever place an 
article in his stock for dispensing without examining it ; when adultera- 
tions are discovered make the fact known through the journals. Support 
the journals that are laboring for the advancement of the better interests 
of pharmacy, help them along liberally, encourage them by your sub- 
scriptions, your kind words and notes of interest. The editor of a 
journal needs encouragement just as much as an orator needs attention 
and interest to bring out his finest sentences, or an actor applause to 
make him forget himself and in his intense realization of his part, sur- 
pass his previous efforts. Remember, that in these days of strict econ- 
omy the most lavish and reckless extravagance is to save the subscrip- 
tion price of a good pharmaceutical journal. 
Philadelphia, February 10, 18777. 


By John M. Maisch. 
[Read at the Pharmaceutical Meeting, Feb. 20.) 

At the last meeting I incidentally remarked (" Am. Jour. Pharm.," 
1877, p. 84) that the test for the detection of castor oil in copaiba by 
petroleum benzin, as proposed by Prof. Wayne, was fallacious. The 
test is recommended to be applied [Ibid., 1873, P* 3 2 ^) by shaking the 
suspected balsam with three times its volume of petroleum benzin, 
when, if castor oil be present, a milky mixture is stated to be formed, 
separating quickly into two layers, the lower containing all the castor 
oil. Having often repeated this experiment with different copaibas 
mixed with their own bulk of castor oil, an absolutely transparent 
solution was always obtained with three or four volumes of petroleum 

132 Detection of Castor Oil in Copaiba. { Am '^\^^ 

benzin, and the solutions remained clear and free from sediment after 
standing for several days and even weeks. Mr. Chas. A. Bowman, 
however, informed me that with larger quantities of the benzin, a 
separation of the castor oil from the copaiba could be effected, and that 
capaiba alone would yield with sufficient petroleum benzin a turbid 
mixture from which a flocculent precipitate would subside. 

On dissolving a pure copaiba in petroleum benzin, it was found that 
with eight measures of the latter the solution was perfectly transparent. 
On the addition of another measure of benzin, a slight turbidity 
occurred, which increased with more benzin, but it took nearly a week 
before the liquid became clear again, depositing at the same time some 
transparent resinous matter. When the same copaiba had been pre- 
viously mixed with castor oil, it required the same amount of petroleum 
benzin to produce a turbid solution, from which, in the course of twelve 
hours, an oily liquid had settled to the bottom, equal in bulk to the 
castor oil employed. But in the course of several days the lower 
layer, containing the castor oil, had increased to more than double the 

It appears from this that petroleum benzin may be used for the 
purpose indicated, if not less than ten volumes are employed, instead of 
three, as originally proposed by Prof. Wayne. But it must not be 
overlooked that pure copaiba will also produce a turbid, though less 
opaque solution, and its separation and the examination of the lower 
layer may become necessary, unless a sufficient quantity of the castor 
oil, to be remunerative to the sophisticator, had been added, in which 
case the dense milkiness will at once indicate it. 

Different kinds of copaiba will be found to be of somewhat different 
behavior. A sample has been handled by Mr. Bowman, which, with 
six volumes of the benzin, became turbid and readily separated floccules, 
while another, as stated before, acquired its maximum turbidness with 
ten measures of benzin, and slowly deposited a transparent resin \ 
another kind, a Para copaiba, over 16 years old, required fifteen meas- 
ures of benzin before a slight turbidity was produced, and even after 
it had been mixed with its own bulk of castor oil, the amount of 
benzin mentioned did not disturb it to a very appreciable extent* 
Professor Wayne, having operated with a sample from which the castor 
oil was separated by three measures of petroleum benzin, it is evident 
that the variations are very considerable, and it is not impossible that 
still greater ones may be observed with other kinds of copaiba. 

Am. Jour. Pharm. | 
Mar., 1877. | 

Tinctura Opii Deodorata. 


By Theod. G. Davis. 

Much has been written about opium and its preparations, particularly 
this, the most elegant of all, yet I trust I am not presuming in giving 
the following, my favorite mode of manipulating. 

The proportions used are the same as in the ct Pharmacopoeia" pro- 
cess, except of alcohol, of which double the amount is used. 

Boil the opium, with twelve fluidounces of water, for half an hour, 
and strain, with expression, through muslin ; boil the residue with eight 
fluidounces of water for fifteen minutes and again express ; repeat the 
same operation with four fluidounces of water ; mix the expressed 
liquids, evaporate to four fluidounces, when nearly cold add, gradually, 
with agitation, eight fluidounces of alcohol (to precipitate gum, starch, 
pectin, etc.), filter, washing the filter with alcohol, and evaporate to 
four fluidounces (the alcohol may be recovered by distillation) ; when 
cool, finish by shaking with ether, etc., as directed in the " Pharma- 
copoeia " process, which requires four day s before a finished product is 
obtained, while by the proposed process one day is sufficient in which 
to obtain a preparation more elegant in appearance and more com- 
pletely deodorized than any I have been able to prepare when following 
'the officinal directions. 


An Ancient Metrical System.— From the library of Sardanapalus, King of 
Assyria (found by Layard at Niniveh), it is proved that the Assyrians, some 3,000 
years ago, had a system of weights and measures almost as philosophical and 
methodical as the French metrical system, all the units of surface, volume and 
weight being derived from a single linear unit. The base of the system was the 
cubit or elbow (equal to 20*67 of our inches). These cubits, multiplied with 360, 
gave the stadium, measure for great distances. The fundamental unit of surface 
was the square foot (foot equal to three-fifths of the cubit). The cubic foot 
constituted the metreta (bushel), which, with its sub-divisions, was the standard of 
all measures of capacity. A metreta of water was the talent, the unit of all 
measures of weight. The sixtieth part of the metrita gave the mine, and this divided 
into sixty parts the drachm. The weight of the metrita (or bushel, water) was about 
70 avoirdupois pounds, the mine about 187 ounces, and the drachm about 159 
grains. The sexagesimal system appears to have been used in all these calculations, 
and is evidently a very practical one, combining the advantages of the decimal and 
•the duodecimal systems — H. M. W. from Manuf. and Build. 



Am. Jour. Pharnis. 
Mar., 1877. 

Yerba santa, the leaves of Eriodyction glutinosum, have been used by Dr. GabeL 
of Aurora, 111., in several cases of bronchitis with very good results. The prepara- 
tion employed was a saturated tincture made with 70 per cent, alcohol, and given 
in doses of 15 minims or less, combined with glycerin, three or four times a day.. 
It is stated that the agent is a remedy in atonic conditions only, and that in inflam- 
mation it is worse than useless. 

Cancer Remedies — Dr. J. L. Horr, of Cumberland Mills, Me., states in the. 
" Bost. Med. and Surg. Journ.," Oct. 5, 1876, that the late Dr. Lombard, formerly 
famous in that region as a " cancer doctor,'''' applied the inspissated juice of Phyto- 
lacca decandra in the form of a plaster until sloughing took place, using afterwards 
a simple dressing like simple cerate. For large tumors a paste composed of chloride 
of zinc and powdered sanguinaria was employed until an eschar was produced, after 
which the same plaster was used. 

Preservation of Syrup of Iodide of Iron. — H. F. Meier, in the "Druggists^ 
Circular," Dec, 1876, proposes for this purpose the addition of some hydriodic 
acid, which he prepares by dissolving 153 grains of pure tartaric acid in 4 fluid- 
ounces of alcohol, adding to a solution of 166 grains of potassium iodide in 2 
fluidounces of water, filtering from the precipitated potassium bitartrate and 
evaporating the filtrate to 2 fluidounces. Each fluid drachm contains 8 grains of 
anhydrous acid, and is stated to be sufficient to preserve at least 4 pounds of this 

Carbolated Camphor, recommended by Dr. Soulez, in the " Bulletin de Therap.," 
is made by dissolving 25 grams of camphor and 9 grams of crystallized carbolic 
acid in one gram of alcohol. It forms pale yellow, oily liquid, having a slight odor 
of camphor, miscible in all proportions with olive and almond oils, and solidifying 
when heated to boiling and then thrown into cold water. 

Iodized phenol is recommended by Dr. Rob. Battey, of Rome, Ga., as a new ute- 
rine escharotic and alterative. It is prepared by combining with a gentle heat half 
an ounce of iodine with one ounce of crystallized carbolic acid. The preparation 
is solid in cool weather. 

For some purposes, a preparation containing more carbolic acid has been found 
serviceable ; it is made by mixing ij oz. iodized phenol, 1 oz. crystallized carbolic 
acid and \ oz. water; this preparation is permanently liquid. — Amer. Pract., Feb. 

New Anaesthetic Agent — Rabuteau, in a memoir read before the Academie des 
Sciences, states that he has investigated the physiological properties and mode of 
elimination of hydrobromic ether. He has satisfied himself that this anaesthetic 
agent, which possesses properties intermediate to those of chloroform, bromoform 
and ether, might be advantageously employed to produce surgical anaesthesia. The 
hydrobromic ether is neither a caustic nor an irritant. It can be ingested without 

Am Ma°r U !'X h 7 arm '} Minutes of the Pharmaceutical Meeting. 135 

difficulty, and applied without danger, not only to the skin, but to the external 
auditory meatus and to the mucous membrane. It is eliminated completely or 
almost completely by the respiratory passages in whatever way it may have been 
introduced into the system. — Med. and Surg. Rep., Feb. 24. 

Phosphorus pills are prepared by Thos. Haftenden, by fusing the phosphorus- 
under a little mucilage in a dish placed in a water-bath, then stirring to form a kind 
of emulsion, after which the powder to form the pills is rapidly but carefully stirred 
in with a small spatula, care being taken to keep the mass together, otherwise, if 
spread on the warm sides of the cup, the phosphorus is apt to catch. When well 
mixed together, they may be put in a mortar and worked up in the usual way. — 
Fhar. Jour, and Trans., 1876, Sept. 23. 

E. J. Appleby has experimented with cacao butter, tolu balsam and resin as 
excipients for phosphorus, and finds that with the first named, the mass requires 
some time and patience to prepare, and must be divided into pills and coated at 
once. The phosphorized tolu balsam is difficult to incorporate with other ingre- 
dients, and pills made from it soon lose their shape, and are with difficulty soluble 
in water. Phosphorized resin on the contrary is easily prepared, and may be kept 
under water for any length of time. It can be quickly reduced to a fine powder, 
and easily made into a pill mass. — Ibid., Oct. 7. 

February 20th, 1S-- 

The meeting was organized by electing Robert England tothe chair 5 A W. 
Miller officiated as Registrar, pro temp. 

James T. Shinn rose to explain that his remarks, as recorded in the minutes of 
the last meeting, were not intended to cast reflection on physicians themselves, but 
related only to the very great variation in the size of the conventional domestic, 
measures for administering medicines, which must of necessity produce marked 
discrepancies in the division of the doses of liquids. 

Prof. Maisch presented a pamphlet received from Dr. E. R. Squibb, entitled 
"The American Medical Association and the Pharmacopoeia of the United States 
of America. " 

Prof. Maisch stated that he had recently been informed that in the Prussian army, 
even when in actual service in the field, the compounding of prescriptions is done 
only by weighing, the use of measures of capacity being almost entirely prohibited. 

A. W. Miller presented a specimen of oil of cubebs, prepared by percolating'the 
ground drug with light petroleum benzin, permitting this to evaporate spontane- 
ously, and then subjecting the residue to distillation. The product was entirely 
free from all odor of petroleum. About 3 lbs. of essential oil were obtained from 
25 lbs. of the drug, and about 20 ounces of resin, fatty oil, etc., were left in the 

136 Minutes of the Pharmaceutical Meeting. { Am 'Jar U ."'i? 7 h 7 a . rm ' 

E. Gaillard read an interesting paper on a new and convenient method of detect- 
ing arsenic by the use of an amalgam of sodium. (See page 126.) His remarks 
were illustrated by the practical application of the test to liquids to which arsenious 
anhydrid and tartar emetic had been added. In connection with this subject, Prof. 
Maisch stated that solutions of nitrate of silver are not affected by light, in support 
of which assertion he exhibited a solution made by himself eight years ago, which 
was still perfectly clear. He explained that the decomposition of the argentic salt, 
when it does occur, is due to the presence of organic matter. James T. Shinn 
inquired as to whether with the frequent introduction of camel hair pencils, sponges 
or the like, reduction would not proceed more rapidly in the light than in the dark. 
Prof. Maisch replied that reduction would take place in either case, but possibly 
under these circumstances somewhat more tardily in the dark than in the light. 

James T. Shinn presented a cake of Joseph L, Lemberger's pure beeswax, 
moulded in such a manner as to be readily broken into squares each weighing one 
ounce. E. M. Boring rose to state that he was an advocate of home manufactures; 
he had tried Lemberger's process of hot filtration through paper, but had not suc- 
ceeded well with it ; he had, however, found simple straining through muslin to 
furnish a satisfactory article, provided proper care was exercised in selecting the 
crude beeswax. James T. Shinn, on the contrary, expressed satisfaction in being 
relieved by one so reliable as Joseph L. Lemberger of the tedious, disagreeable and 
dirty labor of refining beeswax so as to fit it for use in pharmacy. 

A. W. Miller presented a specimen of so-called berry wax, the product of Myrica 
cordijolia, from Cape Town, Africa. The wax is of a dull greenish color, closely 
resembling in its general appearance the myrtle wax of this country. 

Prof. Maisch read a note on the detection of castor oil in copaiba, and illustrated 
the subject by several experiments. R. V. Mattison stated that he had also tried 
the petroleum tests for copaiba, but had become quite confused by them. Prof. 
Maisch said that so far aqua ammonias was still the best test ; he attributed the 
perplexing variation in the behavior of the copaiba to its production from different 
botanical sources 

In accordance with the instructions of the last pharmaceutical meeting, A. W. 
Miller had expressed the thanks of the College for the valuable donations made by 
the late Prof. Carson. He read the following communication, which he had received 

iryeply : 

January 25TH, 1877. 

My dear Sir — Permit me to acknowledge the receipt of your favor of yesterday, conveying the thanks 
of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy for the presentation through Professor Remington. The inter- 
ests of the College were always near my father's heart, and I am personally much gratified at the dispo- 
sition made. 

Very sincerely yours, Hampton L. Carson. 

R. V. Mattison read a paper on adulterations of drugs and chemicals (page 129), 
making serious charges against some of the wholesale dealers. As the statement 
had been made that adulterations were far more common in our country than else- 
•where, Prof. Maisch explained that adulterated articles were found everywhere, and not 
onlv in America 5 that, for instance, resin of jalap which had never seen jalap was 
frequently offered in Europe. He maintained that we here had, in fact, one advantage 
over Europe, in so far that with us everything is at once published far and wide, while 

Am Mar.?i877 rm '} Pharmaceutical Colleges 'and Associations. 137 

abroad the tendency is rather to keep matters of this kind secret, as a sort of public 
disgrace. Prof. Remington related having had submitted to him several months 
ago a specimen of ground gentian, purchased from a wholesale druggist of this city, 
which on examination proved to be almost pure saw-dust. Prof. Maisch improved 
the opportunity by directing the attention of the students present to the necessity of 
the careful study of prosenchymatous and parenchymatous tissues, which in this 
case would alone be quite sufficient for the recognition of the substitution. A, W. 
Miller stated that there was a manufacturer of ground gentian in this city who 
made no pretence to sending out a pure article, merely claiming that his compared 
favorably with that furnished by other establishments. 

E. Gaillard called attention to the process of bleaching sponges, as described on 
page 399 of the "Am. Jour. Phar." for 1875. He nat ^ tried it with very satisfactory 
results, and exhibited a number of specimens bleached in this manner, and with 
permanganate of sodium in place of the potassium salt. He used a very dilute 
hydrochloric acid (one ounce to the gallon) to remove the calcareous matter, 
without injuring the texture of the sponge. The process possesses another advan- 
tage in altering the coloring matter permanently, while the old method, using hypo- 
sulphite of sodium and hydrochloric acid, bleaches only temporarily. 

James A. Maston exhibited a piece of compressed camphor, and invited the 
members of the College to visit the establishment of Wm. F. Simes & Son, to wit- 
ness the manufacture of this article. 

Prof. Remington directed the attention of the meeting to the large assortment of 
specimens obtained from the commissioners of various governments at the late 
Exposition. He exhibited samples of cream of tartar, tartaric acid and argols $ 
sulphur earths, Italian proprietary medicines, effervescent granular salts, fine Aus- 
trian essential oils, German anilin products in great variety, Schering's pyrogallic 
acid and salicylate of sodium, etc. 

Adolph W. Miller, Registrar pro temp. 


The Philadelphia College of Pharmacy has adopted the recommendation of the , 
Conference of Schools of Pharmacy, and introduced, near the close of the last 
session, an examination of first course students, of which seventy of the latter 
availed themselves. The participation of the students, the results attained in this 
nee and the opportunity thus afforded not only of finding out to what extent 
the students had profited from the instruction, but also of specially advising them 
of deficiencies, appear to be regarded so favorably by the Examining Committee 
I Professors, that such a junior examination will undoubtedly be held annually 
hereafter. Twelve specimens were placed on the table for recognition, and answers, 
in writing, to the following questions required: 

1. What compound is formed by the combustion of Charcoal ? Give the method 
by which it is usually obtained and collected for experiment or use. What are its 
properties, composition, effects on living animals and general names of its metallic 
compounds ? 

138 Pharmaceutical Colleges and Associations. { K ^'^;^ rm - 

2. What is the Muriatic Acid of the " U. S. Pharmacopoeia?" How is it 
prepared and what are its properties and officinal specific gravity ? 

3. What is the proper chemical name for Green Vitriol? Describe and explain 
a method by which it can be obtained, and give an account of its properties and the 
changes it undergoes when exposed to the air. 

4. Describe the conditions and manner of the formation of Vegetable Cells. 

5. Name the integuments of Seeds, and explain briefly the different parts of the 

6. Which drugs of animal origin consist mainly, and to what extent, of Carbon- 
ate of Calcium ? 

7. Define Specific Gravity, and state how you would obtain the Specific Gravity 
of a piece of lead weighing 200 grains. 

8. State, in a few words, what the difference is between a Decoction and an, 
Infusion, a Cerate and an Ointment, a Tincture and a Fluid Extract. 

9. What Liquid officinal principle, soluble in water, is obtained from fats? Men- 
tion some of its uses in Pharmacy, and describe its appearance. 

10. From what Country is Rhubarb obtained? Where does it grow? What 
Calcium Salt in large proportion does it contain ? How may the presence of this 
Salt be known ? What Organic Acids does it contain ? 

11. State the number of grains in an Avoirdupois pound, an Avoirdupois ounce, 
a Troy pound and a Troy ounce, and give the weight, in grains, of a Fluidounce 
of distilled water. 

12. Give the formula for making Liquor Calcis. State whether hot or cold 
water should be employed, and the reason why. If left exposed to the atmosphere 
what effect will be produced ? What is a test for it ? 

The Alumni Association of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy held a 
meeting February 1st, President Kennedy in the chair, about fifty members being 
present. After reading of the minutes, specimens were handed to the students for 

Mr. Kennedy submitted a small and curiously-shaped vial, containing a few 
drops of Chinese oil of peppermint, which was quite thick and differed considerably 
from the domestic article in odor. 

Mr. Jones presented handsome specimens of the iodides of lead and mercury and 
ferrccyanide of iron, made by a first course student of the college. 

Mr. Kennedy referred to a plant found in Nicaragua, named phytolacca electrica? 
which is said to possess very pronounced electrical properties, sensibly benumbing 
the hand upon touching it ; the magnetic influence is asserted to be felt at a distance 
of seven or eight feet and the intensity to vary with the hours of the day, being 
hardly perceptible at night, while attaining its maximum about 2 P. M. 

Dr. Miller spoke of the hieroglyphic signs occasionally used in prescriptions, 
tracing back these symbols to their alchemical origin. Copies of these signs, with 
their explanation, will be furnished gladly to any applicant to A. W. Miller, M.D.* 
Third and Callowhill streets. 

Mr. Moorhead read a paper on glycerol of nitrate of bismuth (see p. 98), and 
submitted a specimen. 

Mr. H. Lerchen reported that an examination of the solution and residue 

Am. Jour. Pharm ) 
Mar., 1877. j" 



obtained by treating a rubber nipple with nitric acid showed the presence of zinc 
and calcium, but no lead. 

After a description of the electrical pen, as used by their firm, Dr. Miller 
mentioned a lot of powdered catechu, obtained from New York, which yielded 
very little extractive matter to either water or alcohol, and when ignited gave 5c 
per cent, of ash. 

Maryland College of Pharmacy. — At the business meeting held in January 
Dr. J B. Baxley, who has served the college long and faithfully as Treasurer and. 
Dean, tendered his resignation as an officer of the body, which was accepted with 
many regrets. 

The following officers were elected for the ensuing year : Jos. Roberts, Presi- 
dent; Wm. Silver Thompson and Wm. H. Osborn, Vice Presidents 5 Wm. E. 
Thornton, Treasurer; Louis Dohme, N. H. Jennings and F. Hassencamp, Board 
of Examiners ; Edwin Eareckson, Secretary. 

At the Pharmaceutical Meeting held February 8th, the leading feature was a very 
animated and interesting discussion on the " U. S. Pharmacopoeia," and the 
propriety of admitting, to at least a semi-officinal position in that work some of the 
elixirs and other new-fashioned preparations of the day. Many of the leading 
members advocated the measure, on the ground that a number of such preparations 
have become standard remedies with practitioners, and their use i-> likely to increase 
rather than diminish, hence it would be far better to have a regularly recognized 
formula for their preparation, so as to insure uniformity of strength, flavor and 
properties. The merits of the metrical system were also freely discussed, the 
members generally expressing their readiness to adopt the method whenever 

The Connecticut Pharmaceutical Association held its Second Annual Meeting 
at New Haven, February 8th, Mr. N. Dykeman presiding. About fifty new 
members joined the Association ; efforts were set on foot to secure protection from 
burdensome taxation ; delegates to the National Association were appointed, and 
the following officers elected : N. Dikeman, of Waterbury, President ; Henry 
Woodward, of Middletown, and A. F. Wood, of New Haven, Vice-Presidents > 
Alfred Daggett, of New Haven. Secretary ; George P. Chandler, of Hartford 
Treasurer; Executive Committee, L. I. Munson, of Waterbury, D wight Phelps, 
of Winsted, E. S. Sykes, of Hartford ; Committee on " Progress of Pharmacy," 
Samuel Noyes, of New Haven, Samuel R. McNary, of Hartford, F. S. Stevens, 
of Bridgeport. 


Pills. — The present number contains a long and exhaustive paper on this subject 
from the pen of Mr. J. B. Moore ; although, according to its heading, it has been 
written in defence of one particular variety of this form of medication, it aims to 



f Am. Jour. Pharm. 
\ Mar., 1877. 

prove that there can scarcely be any variety of coated or uncoated pills, if made 
with due caution, which would not dissolve in its passage through the stomach and 
intestines. Experiments undertaken with a view of testing the solubility of the 
various kinds of pills have only, and we believe were never claimed to possess any 
other than a relative value, in so far as they enable us to judge, not of the absolute^ 
but of the relative length of time in which they are likely to produce their medi- 
cinal effects. We are an advocate of home productions, and believe that pharma- 
cists should make, as nearly as possible, all pharmaceutical preparations in their own 
store or laboratory, even though some of them may cost rather more than similar 
preparations as found in the market. If due attention be paid to the quality of the 
raw material and to the processes, it cannot but be a satisfaction to the pharmacist 
and a source of gratification, to feel assured of the quality and effectiveness of all 
preparations dispensed by him, aside from the consideration that by adopting such 
a course many otherwise idle minutes would be usefully filled up and occasions for 
practical experience afforded in which many apprentices and assistants are very defi- 

We favor, partly for the reasons stated, the uncoated pill; at the same time we do 
n ot Jose sight of the fact that the taste of such pills is often repulsive to many patients, 
and that others are unable to swallow medicines in that form, and to them a coating 
which hides the odor and taste is quite a boon. Formerly such coatings were, and 
are still, to a limited extent, made by the pharmacist 5 but the improvements made 
in the processes and apparatus, as worked on the large scale, has very nigh put this 
labor altogether into the hands of the wholesale manufacturer, whereby an elegance 
of appearance has been attained which is unapproachable by the means at the com- 
mand of the dispenser. It seems, therefore, what we need is the construction of 
apparatus, of limited cost, which would enable the pharmacist to furnish the pills of 
the same elegance as the manufacturer, and to this point should be turned the atten- 
tion of our inventive pharmacists. The construction, by Prof. Remington, of an 
improved pill press, for the preparation of compressed pills, which was described in 
our last volume, was such a step, and we trust that the time may not be far distant 
when apparatus for coating pills with desirable materials may likewise be in the 
hands of the dispenser. 

As to the nature of the coating, we believe that not only the inclinations of phy- 
sicians but likewise the tastes of patients will ever differ, and the pharmacist should 
therefore be prepared to furnish, at short notice, pills elegantly coated with sugar, 
gelatin or licorice, the last-named material having been recently recommended for 
that purpose. 

Regarding the heat to which pills, while being sugar-coated, are subjected, we 
believe that its effects have been greatly over-rated, as in the outcry against the 
employment of moderate heat, raised some years ago, in the preparation of fluid 
extracts and extracts. Of course we admit that there is a possibility of spoiling by 
the injudicious application of heat almost any organic material kept in the drug 
store; but there are points in every process which, if neglected, will tend to vitiate 
the results. 

A Va r U , r ;4 harm '} Editorial. 141 

A Pharmacy law in Maine has been recently passed, and received the sanction 
of the Governor February 9th. According to its provisions the Governor has to 
appoint three suitable persons to be commissioners of pharmacy, who are to examine 
every applicant desiiing to engage in the business of an apothecary 5 said applicant 
must have been employed in an apothecary store where physicians' prescriptions are 
compounded, at least three years, or must have graduated from some regularly estab- 
lished medical school or college of pharmacy, and be competent for the business. The 
act does not apply to physicians putting up their own prescriptions or to the sale of 
proprietary medicines. 

The law seems to be wisely framed, if by the suitable persons mentioned 
above, pharmacists are understood. The power of the board to inquire into the 
competency even of graduates appears to be very judiciously conferred, since several 
concerns have been established, here and elsewhere, where pharmaceutical diplomas 
may be obtained without putting the searcher after such honors to any trouble of 
studying, or requiring of him any practical experience. 

A Fatal Mistake occurred recently in this city, in consequence of which a young 
lady died after suffering great agonies. Tt appears that the victim sent to a drug 
store for a dose of castor oil, to be prepared so that it could be readily taken. The 
shop bottle containing hydrochloric acid was placed near the one containing mint 
water, and the former liquid was used for the mixture in place of the latter, the 
mistake not being discovered until nearly the whole contents of the tumbler had 
been swallowed. Although vomiting took place and antidotes were administered, 
the corrosive poison did its fatal work, and the druggist who made the mistake is 
now awaiting the action of the grand jury. 

This is one of those cases the occurrence of which would have been impossible 
if the poisonous articles had been kept in a place entirely separate from the non- 
poisonous drugs and preparations, and should be a warning to those who still follow 
that practice. The pharmacist has to be constantly on the alert, and simple pru- 
dence alone should dictate a separation of the milder and more powerful remedies. 

Bogus Degrees.: — We learn from several European journals that an enterprising 
fellow advertises in some German papers, offering academical degrees hi absentia, to 
be applied for under an address in Jersey, England. The "Chemical News" calls 
attention to this, and states that the degrees offered emanate from the "University 
of Philadelphia." We think that it should be pretty well known in Europe by this 
time that such an institution has no existence in this city,- and if there are still 
dupes to be found who spend their money for a worthless piece of paper, it would 
be but charity and commiseration with such child-like simpletons to inform them 
once more of this fact, and that the frauds who are at the bottom of this rascality- 
have not the slightest connection with the University of Pennsylvania, in this city. 

Correction.— The statement on page 88 should read that Miss Clara Marshall 
fills the chair of Materia Medica at the Woman's Medical College, and instructs 
the lady students in pharmacy during the spring term. 


Reviews, etc. 

f Am. Jour. Pharm. 
\ Mar., 1877. 


The Microscopist, a manual of microscopy and compendium of the microscopic 
sciences, micro-mineralogy, micro-chemistry, biology, histology and pathological 
histology. By J. H. Wythe, A.M., M.D., Professor of microscopy and biology 
in the Medical College of the Pacific, San Francisco. Third edition. Phila- 
delphia : Lindsay & Blakiston, 1877. 8vo, pp.259. 20 5 illustrations. Price, 
cloth, $4.50. 

The evident object of the work before us is not to take the place of such stand- 
ard works as Beale's, but to serve as a guide to the beginner and advanced student, 
and as a handy work of reference and consultation even to the expert, as well as a 
means to indicate the direction in which investigations are to be undertaken. After 
a brief chapter on the history and importance of the microscope, its various forms 
and accessories, its use, the methods of examination and the mounting and preser- 
vation of microscopic objects, are considered and followed by dissertations upon 
its use in the various branches of science enumerated on the title page. Aside 
from the first six chapters, which contain the general instructions for the student in 
microscopy, the chapters on the use of the microscope in chemistry and in vegetable 
histology and botany are those of paramount importance to the pharmacist, and in 
several others he will find much that is useful to him in deciding questions that are 
likely to be submitted to him. Although the work was not specially written for 
pharmacists and druggists, yet we feel assured that they can use it with profit, and 
that it will aid them in entering and cultivating a field of examination and research 
which has hitherto been rather neglected. As a further recommendation for the 
work, we mav state that it has been gotten up in an excellent manner, and that not 
only the text, but also the illustrations, are all that can be desired. 

Chemical and Pharmaceutical Directory, of all the chemicals and preparations (com- 
pound drugs) now in general use in the drug trade 5 their names and synonyms 
alphabetically arranged. By John Rudolphy. Chicago, 1877 : John Rudolphy. 
Large 8vo, pp. 407. Price $5.00. 

The work is divided into three parts: 1. English, Latin, German; 2. Latin, 
German, English ; 3. German, Latin, English, and in its general arrangement is 
similar to the Pharmaceutical Directory, published by the same author a number of 
years ago. In the three parts the subjects are arranged, as far as chemicals are con- 
cerned, under the names of the bases, while the pharmaceutical preparations have 
been arranged in classes, such as tinctures, extracts, cerates, etc. The old nomen- 
clature has been adopted for the chemicals, but has not been consistently carried 
through. Thus we find kali bromatum, kali jodatum, etc., instead of kaliaw 
bromatum, kalium z'odatum, of the " German Pharmacopoeia," and similar incon- 
sistencies are noticed in the English names. Though generally correct, some errors 
are observed in the translations. Thus, on page 220, natrum chloratum and natrum 
chloratum liquidum are translated with soda chlorate in English, and in the Ger- 
man with the equivalent for soda hydrochlorate, while according to the nomenclature 
of the " German Pharmacopoeia " it should be chloride of or chlorinated soda. 
Under liquor natri chlorati, the translations are correct. In some instances the 

Am. Jour. Pharm. ) 
Mar., 1877. J 

Reviews, etc. 


popular English names are not given, as in the case of tinctura rhois radicantis, 
which is translated tincture rhois radicans 5 instead tincture of poison sumach, 
poison vine, or poison oak. 

Generally, the Latin names are those adopted by the " German Pharmacopoeia, " 
or as met with in German pharmacy. We find chininum, chinidinum, etc., but not 
quinia or quinidia ; kali aceticum, chloricum, etc., but not potassii acetas, chloras, 
etc. ; and thus we find expressed the aim of the work to be a dictionary of the 
pharmaceutical and chemical terms as used by German physicians and pharmacists, 
and in this respect it is very complete. In our examination we have not found 
missing any of the important synonyms, even of older date, which are occasionally 
employed in prescriptions, or met with in medical and pharmaceutical works. The 
work will be found a valuable hand-book, and of great service to pharmacists, 
druggists and physicians. 

The American Medical Association and the Pharmacopoeia of the United States of 
America. By Edward R. Squibb, M.D. Brooklyn, 1877. 8vo, pp. 59. 
The pamphlet consists of extracts from the minutes of the American Medical 
Association, the American Pharmaceutical Association and the Kings County 
Medical Society, of an account of the Proceedings of the New York College of 
Pharmacy, and of a proposed plan for the future management of the " U. S. 
Pharmacopoeia," to be submitted to the American Medical Association at its 
annual meeting in Chicago, in June, 1877. It is especially addressed to those 
bodies which were represented in the national convention for revising the " Phar- 
macopoeia," and which are represented in the American Medical and in the Ameri- 
can Pharmaceutical Association. The plan proposes such a radical change that 
it is eminently desirable that the various bodies alluded to should take it into care- 
ful consideration and act officially upon the suggestions. 

The Vermont Medical Register for the year 1877. Edited by Chas. P. Thayer, 
M.D. Burlington, 1877. i2mo, pp. 120. 

Lists of physicians, dentists, druggists and dealers in drugs and nurses, also lists 
of the educational, medical, dental and pharmaceutical institutions in the United 
States and of the charitable institutions of Vermont are found in this little book, 
together with laws of that State, relating to various sanitary, etc., matters, and 
other information of interest to the physician and pharmacist. Among the phar- 
maceutical institutions enumerated, we find two formerly connected with medical 
colleges, which have been discontinued since the establishment of a College of 
Pharmacy in Washington 5 at least two in which lectures have never been delivered, 
and two or three which are of equivocal existence, while on the other hand the 
second oldest College of Pharmacy in the United States, that of New York, has 
been omitted. 

Emmons'' Annual Medical Directory oj Regular Physicians in the State of Illinois, for 
the year 1877. Chicago: F. A. Emmons, M.D. i2mo, 109 pages. 
This Register is arranged alphabetically by towns and by the names of the 

physicians, and contains also a list of the U. S. Pension Examining Surgeons in 



Reviews, etc. — Obituary. 

J Am. Jour. Pharm, 
t Mar., 1877. 

The Naturalists^ Directory, containing the names of Naturalists, Chemists, Physi- 
cists and Meteorologists, arranged alphabetically, with an index arranged accord- 
ing to Departments. By Samuel E. Cassino. Salem, Mass., 1877. 8vo, pp. 80. 
The aim and arrangement of this Directory is sufficiently explained by its title ^ 

intended to embrace the Naturalists of the United States and Canada, it will prove 

useful to all engaged in those pursuits. 

The reception of the following pamphlets is hereby acknowledged : 

Milk Analyses. By S. P. Sharpies, S.B. Reprint from the Proceedings of the 
American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

Note on the Administration of Phosphorus. By E. R. Squibb, M.D. From the 
Proceedings of the American Pharmaceutical Association. 

Liebigs Extract of Malt and its Chemical Composition, Manufacture and Thera- 
peutical Uses. By F. D. Davis, M.D. From the Transactions of the American 
Medical Association. 

Untersuchungen aus dem Pharmaceutischen Institute in Dorpat. Researches from 
the Pharmaceutical Institute in Dorpat. Communicated by Prof. DragendorfF. 
Reprinted from " Archiv der Pharmacies 


Dr. Johann Christian Poggendorff, Professor of Physics at the University 
of Berlin, died there January 24th. He was born at Hamburg, December 29th, 
1796, and when in his sixteenth year entered a pharmacy as an apprentice and 
afterwards served as assistant until 1820, when he matriculated at the University of 
Berlin, following his favorite studies, chemistry and physics. Already in 1821 he 
published an important essay on the magnetism of the voltaic pile, in which he 
described the electro-magnetic multiplicator. In 1824 he became editor of the 
" Annalen der Physik und Chemie," known in the scientific world as Poggendorff "s 
Annalen, which he continued to edit until his demise. The celebrated Hand-jjo*-- 
terbuch, a chemical dictionary, was commenced in 1837, Liebig, Wohler and 
Poggendorff being the editors. A history of the exact sciences, from his pen, was 
published in 1839, an< ^ a biographical and literary dictionary to the history of the 
exact sciences in 1863. The deceased was appointed professor in 1834, and in 1838 
was elected a member of the Berlin Academy of Sciences. His numerous contri- 
butions to science were published in his " Annalen." 

William G. Schmidt died at Louisville, Ky., January nth, after a very brief 
illness, aged 38 years. He had been in business there for a number of years, and 
was highly esteemed for his enterprise and honorable dealing, and for his public 
worth as a citizen. In the inception and organization of the Louisville College of 
Pharmacy he was a leading spirit and faithfully served that institution in various 
capacities, having, to the last, a deep interest in, and solicitude for, the advancement 
of its prosperity. He was a member of the American Pharmaceutical Association, 
and, at the meeting in Louisville, as a member of the local committee, labored 
incessantly to make the sojourn of the visitors both pleasant and profitable. 



APRIL, 1877. 


By Professor Alfonso Herrera, Member of the Mexican Society of Natural History, 

In the damp, hot regions of the fertile mountains of the great Mexi- 
can Cordillera grows a tree remarkable for its thick foliage, eleganre 
and beauty of its golden colored flowers, and the uncommon form of 
its fruit. The Aztecs called it Joyotli, hawks-bell, on account of the 
use they made of the nuts as bells, but others say that it takes its name 
from the property of the seeds to cure the bite of the Crotalus, rattle- 
snake ; and the wise physician, Felipe II., says: " The ancient: 
Mexicans made use of the milky juice that the tree produces in abund- 
ance, for curing deafness and cutaneous diseases. They applied the 
leaves topically in toothache, and as an emollient and resolvent to 
tumors, and lastly, they used the fruit to heal ulcers." 

At present the fruit is called huesos o codos de fraile, bones or 
friar's elbow, perhaps for its resemblance to the human elbow. Among 
the people these seeds have a great reputation in hemorrhoids, ancL 
are applied topically after being triturated and mixed with suet. 

The joyote is the Thevetia yccotli^ De C, Cerbera thebetioides H. B. ; . 
nat. ord. Apocynaceae tribe Carisseae, an elegant tree whose numerous, 
branches are covered with a greenish silver-gray epidermis, with gray 
wrinkles, longitudinal furrows and protuberances somewhat spirally 
arranged ; its leaves are sessile, linear, acuminate, dark-green above 
and pubescent and of a lighter color beneath, with some prominent 
transverse veins ; the margin is entire and revolute ; size, fourteen, 
centimeters long and seven millimeters wide. Inflorescence cymose^ 
calyx five-parted, lobes lanceolate, acuminate and beardless, corolla 
salver-shaped, pubescent in the lower part of the tube and throat, the 

1 Hernandez has corrupted the word Joyotli of the Aztecs into iccotli, and De 
Candolle used the latter as the specific name of this plant. 


'046 Notes on the Joyote of Mexico. { Am A J P Xx8 7 h 7 arm ' 

ttube widened above to bell-shape, the throat with five ovate append- 
ages covered with white hairs ; beneath are the stamens alternating 
with the lobes of the corolla ; anthers sessile and lanceolate, opening 
with two lateral fissures. Ovaries two, united at the basis and free 
above, flat on the face and convex on the back, unilocular and biovulate, 
united on top by a fleshy ring with five incisions alternating with the 
lobes of the calyx. The stigma is black, head-shaped, with ten ribs 
at the base and a bi-lobulate conical top. The ovules are amphitropous, 
sab-globular, of parietal placentation, equi-distant between the base and 
'top of the ovary. Drupe ovoid-globular, green, with a large crest 
about the middle, extending to near the base, but more prominent 
above, and with a slight furrow, and terminating in two small nipples 
■on each side. Epicarp smooth and green ; mesocarp greenish-white, 
•very laticiferous ; endocarp woody, of a dirty yellow color, and the 
same form as the fruit, provided with a complete woody partition in 
the direction of its small diameter, and with two false ones in the other 
direction ; corresponding with the latter towards the apex is a furrow, 
and near the base another one, corresponding to the true partition. 
Seeds four, commonly two abortive, inserted near the middle of the 
false partitions, on the margin with a small wing ; spermoderm thin 
and papery, endopleura distinct and reticulate. Albumen none, radicle 
eccentric, horizontal, conic and short ; cotyledons orbicular, unequal 
and oily, the internal surface transversely wrinkled ; near the centre in 
the direction of the radicle a prominent crest ; flowers in July. 

Mr. Berlandier found, near Tampico, a variety of this species, to 
which he gives the name of glabra, because it has smooth leaves. We 
Slave also the Thevetia ovata, D. C, which is readily distinguished by 
its ovate-elliptic leaves, white-tomentose on the under surface. Some- 
what westward the Thevetia cuneifolia is found ; its flowers are called 
Meriendita. The variety anclieuxi is found about Tonatepec. All 
these species and varieties are commonly known only by the vulgar 
name given above, but in the State of Talisco they are called Narcisos 

The excessive acrimony of the seeds of the joyote attracted my 
attention, and induced me to investigate them. The small quantity at 
my disposal and other circumstances have prevented a fuller investi- 
gation, but incomplete as it may be, it may well serve as a basis for 
-further observations. 

Am Afe8 7 h 7 arm '} Notes on the Joyote of Mexico. 147 

The seeds of the joyote were conveniently divided, and by pressing 
in a common press, yielded 40 per cent, of oil resembling almond oil ; 
its density at 20°C. is 0*9100; at io° it becomes turbid, and at o°C. 
it acquires the consistency of common lard. Concentrated sulphuric 
acid imparts a yellow, changing to rose color, and afterwards into deep 
orange-red ; it is a non-drying oil, and appears to be composed of olein 
and palmitin. The residual powder was percolated with ether, and 
the liquid evaporated left a residue of about the same quantity as the 
oil previously obtained. Distilled water was afterwards used to extract 
albuminous and extractive matters, and finally the exhausted substance 
was treated with 85 per cent, alcohol. The filtered liquid was 
evaporated expontaneously, and yielded a white substance, crystallizing 
in four-sided prisms. These crystals were inodorous, but excessively 
acrid, insoluble in water, and very little soluble in ether, bisulphide of 
carbon, fixed and volatile oils ; but easily soluble in alcohol ; not 
volatile, and not combining with acids or bases. When treated with 
dilute sulphuric acid, they decompose into glucose and a resinoid sub- 
stance \ the principle is, therefore, a glucoside. Its solution is not 
affected by nitrate of silver, the chlorides of platinum, gold or iron, 
iodide and iodate of potassium, tannin, potassa, ammonia, the alkaline 
carbonates, or by ferro- and ferrid cyanide of potassium. I propose to 
call it thevetosin, although thevetin would probably be a more appropriate 
name for this principle. 

In closing this paper, I must thank our distinguished toxicologist, 
Mr. Hidalgo Carpio, for his interest in making the physiological experi- 
ments detailed below ; also, Mr. M. G. Reinoso and C. Morales, for 
the flowers and fruits provided for this investigation. 

Luis Hidalgo Carpio' s Experiments with the Active Princi- 
ple of the Thevetosa Iccotli (Codo de Fraile) Seeds On the 

8th of June, 1871, three large pigeons received sub-cutaneous injec- 
tions of a small quantity of thevetosin, dissolved in a little alcohol. 
After fifteen minutes, they made some convulsive motions, opening 
their bills from time to time as if they wanted air ; afterwards they 
passed to a comatose state, followed by death. To another pigeon a 
sub-cutaneous injection was applied, with rather more than double the 
quantity of alcohol used in the former experiment, but without the 
jovote j no accident after more than half an hour. 

148 Notes on the Joyote of Mexico. { A V P XXT m '' 

The same bird was made to swallow a teaspoonful of the oil ex- 
tracted with ether. It was attacked with cough ; after half an hour 
vomited some green matter with some of the oil, without being relieved. 
Four hours after it became comatose and paralyzed in both legs, and 
half an hour later died without convulsions. 

On the 9th, half a teaspoonful of the same oil was administered to- 
each one of two large pigeons. They vomited it, and rapidly recovered. 
To the same birds, more than half a teaspoonful of the same oil was 
given June 10th. One vomited, and nevertheless died half an hour 
afterwards, having coughed some. The other neither coughed nor 
vomited, but remained affected, and after six hours was comatose with 
the legs paralyzed, and soon after died. 

On the nth, another pigeon was injected by the rectum with a 
small spoonful of the same oil, and the anus was closed with a band- 
age. Half an hour afterwards it trembled in the legs, vomited repeat- 
edly, and when the stomach was empty, had continuous nausea ; an 
hour and a half afterwards had convulsions in the wings, the legs 
motionless, but not rigid, followed by a comatose state, followed by 
death three hours after injection. 

On the 17th, two spoonfuls of the oil of joyote extracted by pressure 
were injected to each of two large pigeons. They vomited, and died 
in an hour and a half, without showing any other symptom. 

The result of these experiments is, 1st : That the oil of the joyote- 
seed, either extracted by ether or pressure, is poisonous to pigeons. 
2d : That it produces on these birds slight convulsions of the wings, 
paralysis of the legs, comatose state and death Difficult respiration 
is also observed, and continued vomiting when the oil is swallowed or 
injected by the rectum. 

On the 10th of June, the active principle of the joyote, dissolved in 
a small quantity of alcohol, was injected sub-cutaneously to two large 
frogs. In a little while they became sleepy, apparently, and opened 
their mouths as if in want of air ; they had but a few convulsive move- 
ments, troubled mobility, and scarcely exhibited sensibility even on 
burning their feet. After an hour death occurred. The active prin- 
ciple of the joyote-seeds, therefore, acts upon frogs as a poison, paral- 
yzing the voluntary as well as the respiratory muscles, producing 
asphyxia and death. 

On the nth of June, a rabbit was injected with an alcoholic solu- 

Am Airii;i8 7 h 7 ! rm "} Notes on the Joyote of Mexico. 149 

tion of joyote-seeds. One hour after it had difficult respiration, con- 
vulsions in the ears and head ; afterwards, the respiration tardy and 
entirely diaphragmatic, had no strength to hold its head up nor to stand 
on its feet \ in another quarter of an hour it died in a comatose state. 
The convulsion proceeded from the want of muscular strength. 

Another rabbit was injected with alcohol alone, in about double the 
•quantity used before, but only showed an intoxicated state, and 
recovered in an hour. A similar experiment with another rabbit caused 
prostration ; the animal could not stand on its feet, and laid on its belly, 
without being able to stand or to walk, even after being pricked ; an 
hour after it began to recover. 

On the 13th of June, another rabbit was sub-cutaneously injected 
with the active principle of the joyote. An hour after its head trembled, 
wanted to keep it up, but could not unless laid against something ; 
when raised, the convulsion ceased. Five minutes after it laid down, 
keeping quiet for awhile, afterwards convulsions in the ears and upper 
jaw took place, occasionally also in the fore feet ; died ten days after, 
grunting and with difficult and diaphragmatic respiration. 

On the 22d of July, ten centigrams of the active principle of the 
joyote were sub-cutaneously injected to a large rabbit ; died in an hour ; 
no symptom observed, On the same day, and at the same hour, a 
half ounce of the oil, extracted with ether, was given to another large 
rabbit. Forty-eight hours afterwards it was alive, did not present any 
remarkable symptom, and had appetite. 

A large rabbit was made to swallow seven grams of the oil of joyote 
July 23d. Twenty-four hours after nothing had happened to it ; it 
had eaten, but died in twenty-four hours more of traumatism. 

Two grams of the aqueous extract of joyote were applied under the 
skin of a large rabbit, and afterwards dissolved ; death occurred in two 
hours y no symptoms observed. 

From these experiments the following conclusions are deduced : 
1st. That the active principle of th^ seed of joyote is a violent poison 
tor rabbits ; that the oil extracted from the same seeds, though not 
poisonous for those animals, there are some satisfactory explanations to 
prove its toxic properties. 2d. That it produces the same as on pigeons 
— a muscular debility, passing into a general paralysis, invading the 
respiratory muscles, and lastly into slow axphyxia and coma. 

On the 20th of June, a small adult dog was injected on one side of 

1 50 Preparation and Toxic Effects of Ge/semia. {^J3f' 1 g£ ,m 

the body with five centigrams of the active principle of joyote dissolved 
in a small quantity of alcohol. In fifty minutes he had diaphragmatic 
respiration and mucous vomiting. From that time until an hour after- 
wards the vomiting continued with great effort and grumbling, phlegm 
or bile in small quantity being thrown up, the respiration continuing 
diaphragmatic. In ninety minutes was seized with a strong general 
tetanic convulsion of about half a minute's duration, followed by relaxa- 
tion and general clonical convulsion lasting three minutes, and death. 
No stupor, narcotism, signs of delirium or paralysis took place ; had 
no diarrhoea, no alteration of the pupil was observed. 

From this it may be inferred : 1st. That the thevetosin is very 
venomous. 2d. That it has a violent emetic action depending upon the 
nervous system, like tartar. 3d. That it acts on the respiration, making 
it difficult by paralysis, more and more complete on the external muscles 
of respiration. Judging from that, the tetanic convulsions followed 
by the clonical that preceded death, were the effects of asphyxia 
caused immediately from perlesia. 

These experiments, made on different kinds of animals, prove that 
the emetic action of the different products of the joyote seeds is con- 
stant in all animals that can vomit ; that the muscular system of 
respiration becomes paralytic, and that this paralysis can extend in some 
cases to the other muscles. Thevetosin, acting so powerfully upon 
the animal economy, may probably become of importance, and be em- 
ployed more advantageously than curare. 


By Theo. G. Wormley, M.D. 

In a former number of this journal (Jan., 1870) we showed that 
Gelsemium serpervirens contained an organic acid, geheminic acid^ z\v\ a 
mtrogenized basic principle or alkaloid, gelsemia, to the latter of which 
the plant owes its activity. 

The method there pointed out for the preparation of these two 
principles was to concentrate the fluid extract of the root (containing 
the soluble matter of 480 grains of the root to the fluidounce) to 

'According to the recent researches of Dr. C. A. Robbins, made in the labora- 
tory of Sonnenschein, in Berlin, this principle is identical with tesculin. 

Am AS'i877. rm '} Preparation and Toxic Effects of Gelsemia. 151 

about one-eighth its volume, dilute the concentrated extract with 
several times its volume of water, and, after subsidence of the resinous 
matter and filtration, to again concentrate the liquid to the original 
volume of the extract employed. The liquid was then acidulated with? 
hydrochloric acid and the gelseminic acid extracted with ether, after 
which the liquid was rendered alkaline and the gelsemia extracted hy 

More recent investigations have shown that, by the former part oif 
this process, a large proportion of both the principles in question are^ 
separated with the resinous matter, and thus escape recovery. 

After trying various methods for the more complete recovery of 
these principles from the fluid extract, we find the following to give 
the best results : A given volume of the fluid extract, acidulated 
with acetic acid, is slowly added, with constant stirring, to about eight 
volumes of water ; after the separated resinous matter has completely- 
deposited, the liquid is filtered and the filtrate concentrated on a water- 
bath to something less than the volume of fluid extract employed.. 
The gelseminic acid is then extracted from the concentrated fluid by 
ether, after which the liquid is treated with slight excess of carbonate 
of sodium, and the gelsemia extracted with ether or chloroform. For 
the extraction of the first of these principles it is not essential that the 
liquid should be acidulated, but in the presence of a free acid the 
results are more satisfactory. 

A series of examinations of a number of samples of the fluid ex- 
tract of gelsemium, prepared by several of the more prominent manu- 
facturers, showed that, as found in commerce, it quite uniformly 
contains about 0*2 per cent, of gelsemia, and 0*4 per cent, of the 
non-nitrogenized principle. The only marked exception to this was 
found in the case of a fluid extract furnished a physician as a sample., 
which contained just double the ordinary proportion of the alkaloid 
and acid. Two samples of fluid extract, prepared by the same firm, 
as obtained from the shops, contained the ordinary quantity of the 
alkaloid and acid. 

Within the last several years quite a number of cases of poisonings 
by the preparation of gelsemium, have been reported. We have thus 
far collected reports of thirteen cases of this kind as having occurred 
in this country. Of this number nine proved fatal. 

In the fatal cases the dose of the fluid extract varied, in the case o£ 

Salicylate of Atropia. 

{Am. Jour. Pharm. 
April, 1877. 

adults, from about one fluid drachm to one tablespoonful ; and the 
uime of death from two hours and a half to seven hours and a half. 

In one instance, 15 grains of the resinoid " gelsemin " proved 
fatal to a woman in one hour after the dose had been taken. 

Fiftv minims of a tincture prepared from four ounces of the root to 
one pint of dilute alcohol, proved fatal to a child, aged three years, in 
two hours. And in another instance a much less quantity of the 
tincture, taken in two doses, caused the death of a child in one hour 
after the second dose had been taken. 

In one of the non-fatal cases a tablespoonful of the fluid extract 
had been taken ; but it was soon followed by vomiting, induced by an 

In another instance, in which from one to two teaspoonfuls of the 
ordinary fluid extract produced most profound symptoms, recovery took 
place under the administration of three grains or more of morphia, 
employed hypodermically, in half-grain doses, repeated overy few 
minutes. From the report of this case, by Dr. Geo. S. Courtwright 
("Cincinnati Lancet and Observer," Nov., 1876), it would appear 
£hat* the morphia was the means of saving the life of the individual. 

In the cases thus far reported there seems to be only one or, at 
t:nost, two instances in which the poison was administered with crimi- 
nal intent. 

Columbus, Ohio, February 2jth, 1877. 


By C. R. C. Tichborne, Ph.D., F.C.S., &c. 

It is well known how difficult it is sometimes, in the most simple 
preparations, to get one that shall meet all the requirements of the 
physician, the surgeon, and the pharmaceutist. Thus, whilst a particu- 
lar preparation may just hit off the views of the prescriber, it may be 
devoid of keeping properties, a point of considerable importance in 
these days, when the dispenser has neither the inclination or time to 
make his own preparations. 

A striking instance of this clashing of requirements is to be observed 
in the solutions of atropia contained in the u British Pharmacopoeia." 

5 Paper read before the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland, February 8, 1877, and 

communicated by the author. 

Am. Jour. Pharm. 1 
April, 1877. / 

Salicylate of Atropia. 

l S3 

There are two of them, both of the same strength (viz.: 4 grains to 
the fluidounce), as they are intended for the same use in ophthalmic 

The first (liquor atropine) is a solution of the alkaloid itself in a 
mixture of spirit and water, the proportions being one-eighth rectified 
spirit to seven-eighths water. Such a solution keeps fairly, but pro- 
duces great irritation of the eye, particularly in those cases where 
operations have been performed, or where there is a chronic sensibility 
attending many abnormal conditions of the organ. The liquor 
atropiae is, therefore, inadmissable in such cases. We presume it is 
from this point of view that the rather absurd plan of introducing a 
second solution, corresponding in almost all its therapeutical effects to 
the first, is introduced. This solution is the liquor atropiae suiphatis, 
which, although free from the objection of its being irritating, has 
another one equally objectionable, for it will not keep. A fungus is 
developed at the expense of the alkaloid ; the solution becomes thick, 
muddy and loses its strength. Perhaps the best remedy hitherto pro- 
posed was the one suggested in Dr. W. Smith's book, but from some 
cause or the other not generally adopted. The suggestion was that 
the solution should be made with camphor water. 

In conducting some experiments, some vears ago, on salicylic acid, 
it struck me, at the time, that the salicylates of some of the alkaloids 
might be used with a considerable amount of advantage, as they ought 
to possess inherent antiseptic properties. I, therefore, considered that 
salicylate of atropia would be an appropriate salt to operate upon, if 
such a salt could be formed. If atropia is mixed with salicylic acid, 
in equivalent proportions, a soft soluble mass is obtained that cannot 
well be crystallized. Although accidentally a semi-crystalline mass 
was once obtained by acting upon a sample of foreign atropia, these 
results could never be repeated ; it is probable that the crystallization 
was due to the presence of some impurity. My experiments were 
afterwards made with a beautiful crystalline specimen made by Messrs. 
Hopkins & Williams, of London, i^tropia and crystallized salicylic 
acid were mixed in equivalent proportions, assuming that the last- 
named acid was a monobasic acid, and the alkaloid acted as a monad. 
If atropia be warmed with an excess of salicylic acid and a moderate 
quantity of water, and then allowed to cool, the excess of acid crystal- 
lizes only, and on evaporating down the mother liquor 27 parts of 
atropia were found to give 4/04 of colloidal salicylate of atropia, which 
is '05 over the weight required by theory. 


Salicylate of Atropia. 

{Am. Jour. Pbarm. 
April, 1677, 

If the atropia and salicylic acid be mixed, in equivalent propor- 
tions, and water added, both the substances dissolve after some time, 
although the ingredients are both comparatively insoluble in cold water. 
The proportions used were, atropia 289, salicylic acid 138 grains. If 
the aqueous solution be evaporated, a colloidal mass will be obtained 
difficult to powder. An attempt was made to crystallize the salt from 
ether, but without success. Alcohol was also tried with a like result. 
This difficulty, as regards crystallization, is characteristic of the 
atropia salts. The actual solubility of this salt was determined at a 
temperature of 15 C. In two determinations it gave, as regards 
saturated solutions : 

1st determination, . . . 4-76 per cent. salt. 

2d " ... 4-69 

Therefore, if we call this 47 per cent., and as 9i_3 = 20*2, we may 


say that practically salicylate of atropia is soluble in 20 parts of cold 
water. Therefore it is evident that it is easy to prepare a solution of 
salicylate of atropia which shall represent the solutions of atropia of the 
" Pharmacopoeia " by dissolving atropia and crystallized salicylic acid 
in the following proportions : 

Atropia, . . . . . • ~"7 grains 

Salicylic acid | crystallized), . . . 13 " 

^ Water, . . . . .1 ounc ; 

Mix, and allow it to stand until it is dissolved. 

With care, however, the salicylate of atropia may be obtained in 
the solid form, and then resembles the sulphate in appearance. In the 
proportions given above the acid is slightly in excess of that required 
by theory. It is found desirable to have a slightly acidulated solution, 
or, under any circumstances, not an alkaline one, because a salicylate 
does not act as an antiseptic in the presence of an excess of alkaloid, or 
what may be called an alkaline solution. A solution made in the pro- 
portions given above will keep for an indefinite time. I have placed 
on the table a sample of the solution of salicylate of atropia, four grains 
to the ounce. It was made on August 4, 1876, so that it is now over 
six months old, and there is not the slightest sign of any fungoid 
growth. As regards the possibility of its producing irritating effects, 
I placed some of this solution in the hands of friends who are in the 
foremost ranks as regards ophthalmic surgery. They have, with their 

Am A^Xi8 P 7 7" m "} Medicinal and other Useful Plants. i 55 

usual courtesy, tried this preparation. I append some of their opinions., 
so far as they bear on the keeping and non-irritating properties of this 

Dr. A. Jacob writes : " When I received your salicylate I placed it 
side by side with a sulphate solution in my case of collyria, and I have 
used them comparatively in a great number of cases. I find now that, 
though exposed to the air, it contains none of the fungoid growth 
common in atropine solutions, and its mydriatic properties, as satisfac- 
tory as the first day. It is, unlike the Pharmacopoeial liq. atropiae. 
quite unirritating. It does not produce the conjunctival irritation 
which prevents in some cases the unlimited use of the ordinary solu- 

The rest of the paper was taken up with reports from Dr. Fitz- 
gerald, Surgeon-Oculist in Ordinary to the Queen in Ireland, and 
Dr. Swanzy, both as regards its keeping properties and non-irritating 

Owing to the supposed antiseptic properties of the acids, the ben- 
zoate and borate of atropia had been made, but solutions of these salts 
proved a failure, a fungus appearing after one or two months. 



By Prof. X. Landerer, Athens. 
Cyclamen Europseum and Hederae folium. — The tuberous roots 
of these plants, the yjr/Xa.fitc, of the ancient Greeks, has been used in 
olden times and is still employed by the peasants as a remedy in 
scrophulous affections ; the root, radix cyclaminis s. arthanitae of 
older pharmacy, is popularly called swine-bread, being dug up and de- 
voured by these animals. The herdsmen of Greece eat it for its purg- 
ative properties. In ancient times the flowers were used for garlands, 
and the plant, having been consecrated to Bacchus, the wine goblets 
were surrounded with the leaves of the kissos, ivy, and the flowers of 

Chrysanthemum segetum, which is principally found in burying- 
grounds, is used in Greece in the same manner as the Persian insect 
powder, and is quite efficaceous for the purpose, particularly when 
used in fumigation. The plant was known in olden times under the 

i 56 Medicinal and other Useful Plants. {^°™;^ rm ' 

names of kry$anthe?non, or gold flower ; chalk anthemon, or copper 
$ower, and heliochrysos, or sungold — the names having reference to the 
color of the flower-heads. At present it has various popular names, 
which are the equivalent of the English oxeye daisy. 

Alhagi manna is the saccharine exudation of Hedysarum Alhagi 
s. Alhagi maurorum. Camel drivers state that camels like the plant 
and eat the tops of it, and that the excretion of this manna is thereby 
increased. The substance has been described by the older writers 
under various names, such as 'aepopeXc, mel aere, man arabum, mana 
•hebraica, honey of John the Baptist, etc. 

Tamarisk manna has some resemblance to the preceding. It is 
eaten with bread, and is produced by the puncture of an insect, Coccus 
manniparus, upon the branches of Tamarix mannifera, which grows in 
the peninsula of Sinai. It is principally collected by the monks of a 
■monastery, who distribute it to the pilgrim visitors. 

Use of Fennel. — The fruit of fennel, called marathron, has been 
always highly esteemed in Oriental countries as a remedy for sore eyes, 
and to the present time is employed by the people for that purpose in 
the form of infusions and cataplasms applied to the eyes. 

Caraway, which appears to be the kyminon of old, and the karos of 
later writers, has also enjoyed great reputation. Among the pre- 
parations formerly employed was particularly a mixture with salt and a 
kind of sauce, to prepare which special servants were kept by the rich. 
At present caraway is used like other common aromatic plants. 

Equisetum. — The plants of this genus were formerly called hip- 
puris, meaning horsetail, from ?7r;roc, a horse, and 'oupa, tail, and has, 
therefore, the same signification as the present botanical name which 
is derived from equus, horse, and seta, bristle. As in olden times, 
several plants of this genus still enjoy a popular reputation in dropsy 
and various nephritic diseases. I have known them, more particularly 
Eq. hyemale and palustre, to be employed by old physicians in connec- 
tion with the herb of 

Parietaria officinalis, the helxine of the old authors, and which 
was also called parthenion or virgin's plant, perdinion or partridge herb, 
because partridges were supposed to like it, and sometimes urceolaria^ 
from its use for the cleaning of glass vessels. The two plants com- 
bined were used, with supposed good results, in dropsical, phthisical, 

Am A J p rn?x8 7 h 7 arm ' } Medicinal and other Useful Plants. 1 5 7 

scrophulous, cancroid and other chiefly incurable and contagious 
diseases. About 30 years ago the custom prevailed in the Orient, but 
is now dying out, that after the death from the first named diseases, 
the clothes and other effects of the deceased were burned, the house 
and walls scrubbed and white-washed or painted, because the diseases 
were considered contagious. 

Agave Americana is now quite common in Greece and other 
Oriental countries ; the genus derives its name from the Greek "ayaoo^^ 
signifying wonderful, splendid. At the Olympia Exposition, held a 
few years ago at Athens, elegant fabrics for ladies' wear were exhibited 
and much admired, which had been made from the textile fibres of 
this plant. This industry is carried on in the Ionian Islands, mainly 
in Zante and Cephalonia, and gives employment to many women and 
children. An extract prepared from the leaves is medicinally employed 
to some extent. 

Spartium junceum is another plant the fibres of which furnish the 
material for excellent fabrics. By the women of Maina and Sparta 
they are principally made into carpets, which, when properly kept, are 
almost indestructible, and will last for 20 or 30 years. These textiles, 
fine specimens of which were exhibited at the late Olympia Exposi- 
tion, are called spartopana. The same material was formerly used for 
preparing many articles of domestic use. The plant has always been 
esteemed for bees ; it has been employed medicinally for its diuretic 
and drastic properties. 

Corinthian Raisins. — The day preceding the festival of the holy 
Elias, 19 July, old style (August 2), is one full of excitement; for on 
that day thousands of laborers, mainly women, children and old men, 
are engaged to commence the harvesting of the grapes on the follow- 
ing day, which, in the form of the so-called currants, represent for 
Greece an annual income of from 40 to 50 million drachms. There 
is scarcely another enterprise as profitable, and for that reason all the 
suitable soil on the Corinthian bay is converted into vineyards. With 
merry songs the laborers march to the vineyards to prepare on the first 
day their tents and huts from boards and shrubbery. In the meantime 
the drying-floors (a Ionia) have been prepared by leveling a suitable 
piece of ground with a mixture of clay and cowdung, not omitting suffi- 
cient drainage for the rapid removal of water in case of rain. Many 

Xanthium Spinosum. 

f Am . Jour. Pharm. 
\ April, 1877. 

coopers are at the same time engaged in making barrels for packing the 
raisins, and the merchants who have purchased the product in advance 
so far as possible, look anxiously for the arrival of the English steam- 
ers, which to the number of thirty or forty or even fifty usually con- 
gregate at the different ports. British gold coins are then in circula- 
tion, and the joy is general, from the carrier of burdens to the whole- 
sale commissioner and merchant, in the expectation of the high wages 
and profit derived from this monopoly of a portion of Greece and the 
Ionian Islands. 

After ten or twelve sunny days the fruit is dry enough to be separa- 
ted from the stalks and farther purified by winnowing, when it is carried 
to the warehouses for packing and storage until it is shipped ; the 
weighing and packing being done under the supervision of government 
officials. Each shipmaster is anxious to secure the first cargo, and the 
departure of the vessel carrying the so-called prhnaroles, is the occasion 
of festivities, adorning of the ship with wreaths and the firing of 
cannon. But throughout the general joy, the anxiety of many is 
plainly visible, lest a heavy rain might be the cause of disappointing 
the hopes and expectations of thousands of families. 

Grecian Grapes. — More than fifty varieties of grapevines are culti- 
vated in Greece, yielding as many different wines. A number of years 
ago attempts were made to transplant the valuable grapevines of 
Hungary and Germany to Greece ; but though they flourished in the 
sunny oriental clime, the acidulous grape from the Rhine became rich 
in sugar, and produced a wine resembling those obtained from indigenous 
grapes, and the latter acquired a harsh and acid taste when cultivated 
in Southern Germany or on the Rhine. The proverb, " Suum cuique," 
is probably also applicable in this case. 


By the Editor. 

During the past year the above plant has attracted some attention in 
Europe in consequence of its asserted prophylactic action against hydro- 
phobia, and experiments were made with it in France with the view of 
testing its properties and virtues in that dreadful disease. That they 
have had a negative result has already been stated in our last volume 
(page 571) ; but since some inquiries for the new drug have been made 

Am. jour. Pharm. ) 
April, 1877. / 

Xanthium Spinosum. 


in this country, and since the plant has been naturalized in various parts 
of the United States, we present, with the present number, a plate 
which has been copied from the " Swiss Pharmaceutical Weekly," 
and represents a branch of the plant in natural size. 

The genus Xanthium belongs to the natural order of Compositae, 
tribe Senecionideae, sub-tribe Melampodineae, division Ambrosieas of 
DeCandolle. It is characterized by having the staminate and pistillate 
flowers in different heads upon the same plant ; the involucre of the 
former, which are placed at the top of the branches, is sub-globose, 
consists of free scales placed in one row, and contains many florets 
with clavate, shortly five-lobed corollas. The pistillate heads have an 
oblong or ovoid involucre, which is closed, coriaceous, armed with 
hooked prickles and one or two strong beaks at the apex, and contains 
two florets with filiform corollas, no stamens and flat akenes des- 
titute of pappus. The plants of this genus are all coarse-looking, 
annual weeds, with stout branching stems; and alternate leaves, and are 
known by the trivial names of clot-weed and cocklebur. 

The species under consideration is originally indigenous to the 
southern part of Europe, from Southern Russia west to France, but 
has gradually spread farther north into Hungary, Bohemia, Silesia, 
Switzerland and Alsace, but in most places it occurs but sparingly, the 
farmers aiming at its extirpation on account of its rapidly spreading 
into the fields to the great injury of the crops. It has likewise been to 
some extent introduced into most civilized countries, and in the United 
States is found spontaneous and completely naturalized in the eastern 
section from the New England States south to Georgia, growing in 
waste places and neglected fields, near the sea board and along rivers. 
Dr. W. Darlington, in his " Flora Cestrica," 1 853, strongly advocates 
its total extirpation, and states that u some years since the authorities 
of one of our cities, where it was becoming a great nuisance in the 
streets, enacted an ordinance against it, denouncing it by the name of 
Canada thistle /" 

It produces a terete striate and pubescent stem, from one to three 
feet in height, and has lanceolate or ovate-lanceolate, shortly petiolate 
leaves, which are white downy beneath, the lower being three-lobed, 
the upper more or less cut-toothed or entire. At the base of each 
leaf are stipules, consisting of sharp, three-forked, yellowish spines, 
frequently attaining an inch in length ; the fertile burs are crowned 

160 Xanthium Spinosum. { Am A J P Xi87 7 arm ' 

with one short and inconspicuous beak. The leaves dried and powdered 
are of a green color, have a strong somewhat narcotic odor and a bitter 
taste. According to C. C. Keller, they contain a volatile oil and bitter 
extractive. The results of the analysis of Yvon and Nocard will be 
found in our last volume, page 538. The leaves were recommended 
to be taken uninterruptedly for six weeks in doses of o*6o grams (10 
grains) three times daily, for adults, and for children under 12 years, in 
half the quantity stated, cataplasms of the leaves being applied at the 
same time. For dogs, the doses required are said to be considerably 
larger. The drug is stated to be successfully employed in southern 
Russia, in cases of threatened hydrophobia. 

A report on the action of Xanthium spinosum, by Trasbot and 
Nocard, was read December 14, 1876, before the Societe centrale de 
medecine veterinaire. The authors had inoculated eleven dogs with 
saliva taken from a living rabid dog ; six were treated with the leaves 
of xanthium, but nine of the whole number died in from fourteen to 
eighty days, two with all the symptoms of hydrophobia, the remainder 
with nervous symptoms, not decided enough to attribute them to this 
disease. The authors therefore conclude that the spinous cocklebur 
has not the property of curing hydrophobia, nor does it prevent its 
development, after either natural or experimental inoculation. 

These experiments, it must* be admitted, do not support the state- 
ments of Dr. Grzymala, of Podolia, who a year ago recommended it, 
based upon observations extending over twenty years, and numerous 
cases of men and animals bitten by rabid dogs or wolves. According 
to L. Lade, it was noticed as early as 1861 by Oesterle, in his " Arznei 
mittellehre," as a remedy highly recommended by a Russian physician 
in hydrophobia. Other experiments are being made in the veterinary 
school of Zurich and very likely in other places, so that the true value of 
the proposed remedy will soon be established. Thus far it appears as 
if it was to share the fate of the xanthion of the ancient writers, the 
root, leaves and fruit of which were formerly held to possess diuretic, 
diaphoretic and alterative properties. 

The species alluded to is Xanthium strumarium Lin., which is now 
found in most parts of the civilized world, though perhaps originally 
indigenous to Asia, Europe and the northern part of Africa. It 
resembles the species above described, from which it is distinguished 
by the absence of spines at the base of the leaves, by the broadly 


Am Ai°rii r ;i877. rm } Solution of Citrate of Magnesium. 1 6 1 

ovate, somewhat trilobed leaves, and by the two-beaked burs. It is 
common in this country, particularly west. Closely allied to, and 
perhaps a mere variety of it, is the X. echinatum, Murray, which is mainly 
distinguished by its larger burs, and is found here near the seashore, in 
many places of Mexico, South America and the Old World. X, 
indicum, Roxb., which is found from China and India west to Egypt, is 
likewise very similar to it. Evidently distinct is X. catharticum, H. 
B. K., of Ecuador, with ternate spines and pinnatifid leaves, which 
are hispid above and tomentose beneath. The herb is used in its 
native country as a cathartic under the name of cazamaroucba. 


To the Editor of "American Journal of Pharmacy 

Dear Sir — On perusing the March number of the journal, I 
noticed two articles on solution of citrate of magnesium \ one in par- 
ticular (by John W. Watts) attracted my attention. He states that 
the u officinal formula is liable to a series of objections in regard to 
preparation and preservation, and then proceeds to give a formula 
requiring 450 grains of citric acid and 120 grains of calcined magnesia, 
and substituting boiling water for cold water. 

I think Mr. J. W. W. must have mistaken an old edition of the 
"Dispensatory" for the u Pharmacopoeia " of 1870, for the formula 
in the latter directs 400 grains of citric acid, and magnesium carbonate 
instead of calcined. Regarding his reference to an almost rotten pre- 
paration, I would like to ask, Where is the u pharmacist " of any stand- 
ing who will dispense a decomposed solution ? 

During my experience I have adopted the following formula as 
yielding a satisfactory preparation, and one that will remain unchanged 
for a reasonable length of time (two weeks) : Ten troyounces of 
citric acid is dissolved in a quart of hot water, five troyounces of carb. 
magnesium is added, and the whole stirred until dissolved \ it is then 
filtered into a graduated five-pint bottle, and sufficient cold water added 
to make three pints. This is enough for twelve bottles. Put two 
fluidounces of syrup of citric acid in each bottle, add four fluidounces 
of the solution, nearly fill with cold water, cork and label the bottles, 
and place on a shelf. When I have a call for it, I remove the cork, 
add forty grs. bicarbonate potassium, replace the cork and secure it with 

it 62 

Pills and Pill Masses. 

[Am. Jour. Pharm. 
\ April, 1877. 

twine. By telling the person to " shake the bottle well " before 
opening, I dispense unexceptionable citrate. The above is virtually 
the " officinal formula," or, I should say, a multiple of it. The above 
quantity (12 bottles) lasts us about six days, and I am confident that 
the last is as good as the first. I am afraid friend " W." has not tested 
the efficiency of the present "Pharmacopoeia" formula, and I 
would be advisable to do so, before condemning it. 

Respectfully yours, W. Wesley. 

West Philadelphia, March, 1877. 


By Hans M. Wilder. 

Mr. Moore, in his twenty-two-and-one quarter-page article on sugar- 
coated pills (this journal, p. 105) states several objections to plain pills, 
the chief of which seems to be that when to be made freshly too much 
time will be consumed. I venture to offer an expedient which I have 
used for several years, whereby the time is reduced to a minimum. 
Those pills which are very often called for I keep in mass, ready for 
rolling out. Take, for instance, compound cathartic pills : I mix the 
powders and make into a stiff mass with q. s. glycerin, and keep in a 
jar, marked : take four grains for each pill (making allowance for the 
glycerin). In this way any kind of pills often called for may be kept. 
The rolling out does not take one minute, and people know that the 
pills are fresh, having seen them made. I must say that since I started 
this feature (and the one with freshly made tartrate of sodium) I had 
more calls for either than ever before : our customers appreciate such 
things. The idea of keeping pill masses was easily got by noticing 
the convenience of blue mass ; objections, there are none : if a stiff 
mass be made, it will not soften so soon, notwithstanding the hygro- 
scopic property of glycerin. Spoiling is out of question ; make only 
sufficient to last a week or so. 


By S. Wolff. 
[Read at the Pharmaceutical Meeting, March 20.) 
Of all the preparations in the " Pharmacopoeia," there is probably 
none that causes more disappointment and dissatisfaction to the con- 

Am Ai°r^i877. rm "} Unguentum Hydrargyri Nitratis. 163 

scientious pharmacist than the subject of this paper. There is none, 
perhaps, that has been experimented with as much, and none that there 
has been less ascertained about, or which has yielded less satisfactory 
results, notwithstanding the many theories that have been advanced 
for it. 

Many of our older pharmacists have their own pet formulas for this 
ointment, and every one of them assures you that it makes a first-rate 
preparation, possessing all the necessary qualities for which this truly 
meritorious article is celebrated, but it was heretofore never our lot 
to see any of them that could lay claim to being an elegant or scientific 
preparation. Long ago the olive oil and lard of European " Pharma- 
copoeias " have been discarded as unsuitable for the purpose, and the 
neatsfoot oil adopted instead, which yielded an article of more unctuous 
consistency, but the color thereof illy corresponded with its popular 
name. The lard itself of the present edition has much improved the 
appearance of this ointment, but it makes the name of u ointment" a 
mere sham, as it requires considerable physical exertion to reduce it 
sufficiently to admit it being mixed with ointments or lard ; the color 
of it, besides, gradually changes from a bright yellow into a greenish 
dark hue. Butter, too, has been recommended as furnishing the article 
r par excellence," but alas, it answers no better than all the previously 
mentioned oils and fats. The author of this paper, in a moment of 
despair, was induced to try the now popular cosmolin to that end, 
only to find, that if exposed to the air, it rapidly assumed a dark-brown 
color, holding the subnitrate of mercury with a great deal of nitric 
acid in suspension, entering no combination with it, while by the sub- 
sequent liberation of nitrous acid it is puffed up not unlike a sponge 
cake. Dr. Fessenden, of North Carolina, seemed to have compre- 
hended the fallacy of our formulas, when he proposed the employment 
of non-drying oils, and we had almost cause to chide the revisors of 
the " Pharmacopoeia " for not adopting his method at once, had we 
not reason to believe that they had succeeded with it as little as our- 
selves, and ascertained that, although theoretically feasible, the prepara- 
tion therefrom was most anything else than citrine ointment. 

The chemical reaction taking place in the formation of this ointment 
is confessedly not precisely known, consequently little understood, and 
various writers have sought to place the greatest importance on the 
regulation of heat and mode of admixture with a view of obtaining a 

164 Unguentum Hydrargyri Nitratis. J 4 ^'^™" 

favorable result, but how far they have succeeded I will leave to the 
decision of any of our pharmaceutical brethren, who have closely 
adhered to their instructions. The probable liberation of oleic,, 
stearic and palmitic acids has been correctly pointed out, but what in* 
such a case became of the glycerin has not been made evident. 

The object of obtaining a more definite idea of what changes had; 
taken place, led the writer of this to dissolve a number of specimens 
of the " U. S. P." preparation, partly his own make, as also some 
obtained from other reputable establishments, in petroleum benzin and 
ether. He was surprised to find what small precipitate they afforded,, 
being only from two to three grains in sixty of the ointment, whereas^ 
by weighing the fatty vehicle and the resulting preparation, the mercurial 
salts in the preparation, after liberal deduction for water present, should 
not have been less than ten grains in each drachm, so that a solution 
of mercuric oxide forms evidently the principal part of the ointment., 
and the oxide can actually be separated from it by precipitation with an 

Why the oleate of mercury itself should therefore not be preferable 
to the ointment as a therapeutical agent we will leave to the medical 
faculty to investigate, as certainly a more uniform, reliable and scientific 
preparation can be obtained by the direct process. 

That possibly the presence of stearic or palmitic acids were the 
cause of the changes noted above, and which make the present form 
of the ointment so objectionable, naturally suggested itself to us, and 
our next step was to procure oils which were nearer the pure olein. 
Lard oil, filtered at a low temperature, used for that purpose, showed 
a slight improvement in consistency, but the color of it made it, if 
anything, more objectionable than all the rest previously employed. 
Oil of sweet almonds fared no better, and it then occurred to us that 
the fault of reducing the mercurial salts was not as well with any of 
the fatty acids as with the glycerin, which in the solutions of benzin 
and ether could not be detected, although positively insoluble therein, 
so that it must have underwent a change, and there seems 
reasonable cause to suppose that it was oxidized at the expense of the 
mercurial salts, leaving part of them suspended in the ointment as a 
mixture of sub-nitrate, mercurous oxide and globulous metallic mer- 
cury, to all of which the ointment owes its dirty-green color, with 
black streaks therein. 

Am Ap?^ r 'x?77. rm '} Use °f B° oks h Students and Assistants. 165 

After the above, the only chance of success rested, perhaps, in the 
employment of purified oleic acid (for the preparation see " A. J. Ph.," 
January number, 1877, page 4), although the experience of high chem- 
ical authorities as to its rapid change into crystalline elaidic acid on 
contact with nitrous acid, seemed to speak much against a favorable 
result. Actual experience seems in this case to have contradicted all 
theories, for not only does it yield a beautiful pale-yellow ointment 
(specimen submitted), which undergoes no change in color nor con- 
sistency, but its composition, as regards its mercurial constituents, is 
closely analogous to the preparation of the " U. S. Pharmacopoeia." 
A solution thereof in petroleum benzin, ether or alcohol shows a 
beautiful yellow precipitate of equal amount of unchanged mercuric 
sub-nitrate and the same quantity of the oleate as the officinal article, 
while the nitrous acid of the decomposed mercuric deutonitrate seems 
just to create sufficient elaidic acid to make its consistency that of 
simple cerate. 

The theory that elaidic acid has the power to change admixed oleic 
acid indefinitely into the former seems also not confirmed, for although 
we have kept specimens for months, the consistency has not changed. 
The odor of it is not near as objectionable as the product of the " U. 
S. P.," and as they are both mainly oleates, there can be no possible 
objection to its therapeutical employment. 

In conclusion, I would state that the proportions of mercury and nitric 
acid employed were strictly those of the " Pharmacopoeia," only the 
equal quantity of purified oleic acid being substituted for the lard. No 
particular precautions are necessary in regard to heat, no further than 
that the oleic acid should be heated to the full extent of a water-bath 
without pressure, before adding the mercurial solution, and should be 
kept at that point until all reaction and effervescence has ceased, where- 
upon it is to be stirred until it becomes cold and congealed. 

Philadelphia, Fa , March, 1877. 


By J. B. Moore. 

It is presumed that the library of every intelligent pharmacist should 
contain, at least, the following books, viz.: U. S. Pharmacopoeia, U. 
S. Dispensatory, Fowne's or Attfield's Chemistry, Morfit's Chemical 

1 66 Use of Books by Students and Assistants. { Km ^{;^ m ^ 

Manipulations, Gray's or other standard work on Botany, Webster's or 
other Unabridged Dictionary, Dunglison's Medical Dictionary, with 
perhaps, one of the standard works on Therapeutics and Materia 
Medica and on Toxicology. 

If the pharmacist be an ambitious, progressive and studious man, 
who is desirous of extending his knowledge beyond the usual curriculum 
of pharmaceutical studies, he may add to his library other valuable 
pharmaceutical and medical books, such as his taste may dictate and 
his purse enable him to procure. 

These books are generally expensive works, and should be handled t 
by whoever uses them, with the greatest care, or they will soon become 
soiled and torn to pieces. I have thought it advisable, therefore, to 
offer a few hints to the students and assistants in pharmacy, as to the 
manner in which these books should be handled and used to prevent 
their becoming soiled or torn. 

Nothing is so provoking to a preceptor as to see his student or 
assistant damage or soil his valuable books by rough or careless hand- 
ling. Be careful in laying a book down, not to place it too near the 
edge of the counter or shelf, or in any position where it is likely to be 
knocked off or to fall to the floor. If the U. S. Dispensatory, the 
dictionary or other large book falls it may strike on one corner, which 
is liable to shatter it to such an extent as to produce a loosening of the 
back, and in a short time leaf by leaf will fall out and it will soon 
become either an entire wreck or so badly damaged as to be of little 
use for reading or as a book of reference. 

Again, some young men, when reading a book and required to wait, 
upon a customer, never look how or where they lay it, and often place 
it on its face, with its pages open, and perhaps where oil or other sub- 
stance has accidentally fallen, and thus deface and soil the leaves, in 
addition to the injury that is done to the back by the strain caused by 
the improper position in which the book is placed. Now there is no 
excuse for this careless habit, and such vandalism should be rebuked,, 
on every occasion, in the severest manner. 

Every young man should feel glad to think that he has the inesti- 
mable advantage of access to useful and valuable text books for read- 
ing and reference. A proper appreciation of such advantages, if not 
his own sense of justice and duty to his preceptor, should prompt him 
to the greatest care in the handling and use of such works. What 

Am k J pXx87 7 arm '} Selections from the Banish Journals. 167 

would the student think if these books were within his sight and he 
was not allowed access to them, as should by rights be the case if he 
does not know how to use and properly take care of them. 

There is nothing that so utterly disgusts me, or lowers a young man 
so much in my estimation, as to see him, by carelessness or with ruth- 
less hand, soil or mutilate any of my books. 

Books, when you have done with them, should be at once carefully 
replaced where they belong, in the library or other place. 

I want every young man who reads this article to bear in mind the 
advice here given, and try to cultivate a habit of carefulness in the use 
of books, as well as in everything else within the province of his 
business. The observance of such a habit will, I can assure him. 
tend to elevate him in the confidence and respect of his employer, 
and will redound to his own personal advantage very greatly. 

Philadelphia, March, 1877. 


Br Hans M, Wilder. 

It might probably interest the readers of the "American Journal of 
Pharmacy" to learn the requirements at the examinations of graduates 
in Denmark. It must be premised that the preparations (and analysis) 
with the several written reports have to be made in three consecutive 
days of twelve hours each, during which time none is allowed the use 
of books, nor is conversation or questions permitted ; all the time a 
strict surveillance being kept (in fact, the graduates are shut up). The 
seven graduates from last examinations had, respectively, to make : 

Pharmaceutical Preparation. — I. Acetate of zinc from 30 grams oxide 
of zinc. 2. Kermes mineral from 10 grams sulphuret of antimony, 
3. White precipitate from 20 grams corrosive sublimate. 4. Subnitrate 
of bismuth from 20 grams bismuth. 5. Protosulphate of iron from 
60 grams iron. 6. Acetic acid from 20 grams acetate of sodium. 
7. Acetic ether from 200 grams acetate of sodium. 

Qualitative Analysis. — I. Tartrate of lime, cane sugar and oxide of 
antimony. 2. Tannin, gallic acid, tartrate of potash and traces of 
carbonate of lime. 3. Nitrate of baryta, nitrate of lead and subnitrate 
of bismuth. 4. Sulphate of quinia, alcohol and chloride of copper. 
5. Soap and starch. 6. Sulphate of manganese, alum, sulphate of copper 

1 6 8 Selections from the Danish Journals { Am g ^\!^ rm - 

and traces of sulphate of iron. 7, Arsenious acid, oxide of antimony, 
carbonate of lead and carbonate of lime. 

Chemical test Preparation. — 1. Nitric acid from 500 grams nitrate of 
sodium. 2. Sulphide of ammonium from 200 grams aqua ammoniae. 
3. Ether from 700 grams alcohol. 4. Ammonia from 500 grams 
chloride of ammonium. 5. Nitrate of silver from 30 grams silver. 
6. Chloride of copper from 30 grams copper. 7. Nitrate of barium 
from 150 grams native sulphate of barium. 

This is the practical part ; the theoretical examination is oral, and 
occupies two additional days. — Nij Pharm. Tid., 1877, p. 33. 

Laws of Denmark. — The law of Dec. 1, 1779, which forbids 
advertisements of patent medicines, etc., has been enforced, and also 
another law of Jan. 10, 1791, which forbids to advertise rupture band- 
ages and similar articles (sic f / W.) — Arch, for Phar., 1877, p. 33. 

Statistics of Sweden. — The sale of arsenic from all Swedish 
pharmacies amounts to 10,142 lbs. for 1875. With 4,341,559 inhab- 
itants, Sweden has 558 physicians and 218 pharmacies — one physician 
to about 7,800, and one apothecary to about 20,000. — Ibid., 1876, 
p. 498. 

Aqua Toffana. — This well-known poisonous water (from the six- 
teenth century) is said to have been a solution of arsenic in aqua cym- 
balariae. — Goeppert. Ibid., 1876, p. 489, from Ph. Zeit., 1876, p. 83. 

Arsenias Auricus. — In France has for some time been used a 
remedy under the name of arseniate of gold (arseniate d'or). Thibault 
(Lille) has examined it, and found that it is only a mechanical mixture 
of arsenicic acid and Au 2 O s in variable proportions, wherefore he warns 
against its use. — Ibid,, 1876, p. 490, from Bull. Soc. Med., Lille. 

Tablettes Pectorales. — (Trochisci glycyrrh. c. ammon. muriat.) 
The first formula had 1 part chloride of ammonium to 8-9 parts 
licorice, but the troches were very hygroscopic. Hager recommends 
the following as better : Ammon. chlorid., 10 ; extr. glycyrrhiz. pulv., 
80; sacchar. alb., 30 ; tragacanth., 2 ; glycerin., 5 ; aqua, q. s. to form 
a mass, which is rolled to a thickness of 1-1 J mm. and cut in rhombes 
of 10-12 mm. They can be silvered if required — Ibid., 1876, p. 493, 
from Ph. C, 1876, No. 45. 

Squill. — A. Janssen recommends not to slice the bulbs, but to keep 
them whole in the cellar. The tincture and vinegar prepared from the 

Am A${;£%™'} Selections from the Banish Journals. 169 

fresh bulb are much more active than when prepared from the dried slices. 
Powdered squill not being very reliable, Mr. J. recommends to mix 
the tincture with a certain proportion of sugar, and evaporate at very 
iow heat to dryness. The constituents of squill are : 8 tannin, 14 
sugar, 30 mucus, 10 red coloring principle, 2 yellow, volatile principle, 
5 salts, 1 scillitin and a trace of iodine. — Ibid., 1876, p. 485, from Ph. 
Zeits., 1876, No. 85. 

Sydenham's Laudanum, Wine of Opium, etc. — Bellecret re- 
commends to replace 100 parts of the wine by glycerin, which pre- 
vents, in a great measure, formation of deposit, and withal makes the 
preparation keep better. — Ibid., 1877, p. 31 from Rep.d. Ph., 1877, p. 5. 

Silico-tungstic acid has been recommended by R. Godeffroy as 
the most sensitive reagent for alkaloids. For instance, a solution of 
muriate of quinia (1 : 25,000) yielded a precipitate with one drop of an 
aqueous solution of the above acid (likewise, muriate of cinchonia 
[1 : 200,000] and muriate of atropia [1 : 15,000.] ). The precipitates 
are very little soluble in concentrated muriatic acid, and the alkaloids 
can be separated by solution of caustic potassa. The silico-tungstic 
acid is best prepared by boiling pertungstate of sodium with freshly 
precipitated silicic acid ; precipitate with solution of mercurous nitrate, 
wash the precipitate, decompose with muriatic acid, and filter. Con- 
centrate the filtrate by evaporation and let crystallize. The crystals 
fuse at 36 C, and are very soluble in water and in alcohol. — Nij 
Pharm. Tid., 1877, p. 5, from Ph. C, 1876, No. 51. 

Icteric Urine. — Dr. Constantine Paul recommends, as a test, 
Violet de Paris (methylanilin violet) 5 parts in 100 parts water or 
alcohol ; 1-5 drops poured on 10 cc. healthy urine produces a circle 
of a pure blue color ; icteric urine colors the circle intensely carmine 
red. This test is reliable, since no other substance produces this 
change of color, and it is more sensitive than either iodine or nitric acid. 
— Arch, for Pharm., 1877, P* 3 2 > fr° m Union Ph., Sept., 1876. 

Nutrition of Infants. — Dr. Altherr has examined into the relative 
nutritive power of different kin.ds of infants' food. He found the aver- 
age daily increase in the weights of babies by using mother's milk 7*2 
grams ; nurse's milk, 4 grams ; mother's milk at first and afterwards 
cow's milk, 3*8 grams ; cow's milk alone, 2 grams ; condensed milk, 1 
gram ; Nestle's Infants' Food, 0*5 gram. The number of babies examined 

170 Selections from the Danish Journals. { Am A^n, r i8 7 h 7 arH1 ' 

was 480, but many of them were weighed every day for the first four- 
teen days. — Ibid., 1876, p. 483, from Zilr. Gesundheitspflege, 1875. 

Gold. — Jul. Thomsen (well-known for his thermo-chemical re- 
searches) has examined into the behavior of gold and its salts, and found- 
that there exist three allotropic states of it : 1. Gold reduced from 
a solution of the chloride by sulphurous acid, forms a lumpy mass. 2. 
Reduced from the bromide it forms a very fine dark powder, which 
keeps its powdery form even after drying. 3. If reduced from proto- 
chloride, bromide or iodide, it forms a very fine powder, with yellow 
color and metallic lustre. Mr. Th. has prepared and reports at great 
length on Au 2 Cl 4 , AuCl 3 , AuCl, AuBr 3 +AuBr, AuBr 3 , 
AuBr 4 H+5H 2 0, AuBr, Au 2 3 .— Ibid., 1877, p. 1, from TidsL 
Phys. and Ch. 

Hardened (toughened) Glass. — There exists a factory in Pitts- 
burgh, Pa. (Ditheridge & Co., Fort Pitt Glass Works), which makes 
that kind of glass after a secret process of its own. La Bastie's pro- 
cess consists in a peculiar way of hardening. The above-named 
American firm obtained the above results by a peculiar composition of 
the glass mass. The editor thinks it probable that, considering the 
great hardness and peculiar transparency and freedom from color, borax 
seems to play a role, and is probably the real secret. — Ibid., 1876, p. 476. 

Antichlor. — Hitherto only hyposulphite of sodium has been used as 
antichlor ; but, notwithstanding its great absorption power for chlo- 
rine, it has one drawback — sulphur is precipitated, which is soon oxi- 
dized to sulphuric acid, and " rottens " the paper or tissues. Although 
sulphite of sodium is not decomposed in this way, its absorption power 
for chlorine is very weak, and therefore it could not replace the hypo- 
sulphite. R. Wagner recommends nitrite of sodium, which does not 
in any way attack the bleached articles. The relative absorption pow- 
ers of these three salts are as follows : 100 pts. hyposulphite take hold' 
of 114*4 P ts - chlorine; 100 pts. sulphite only of 28*1 pts. chlorine; 
100 pts. nitrite as much as 103 pts. chlorine. — Ibid., 1876, p. 477. 

Dry Rot. — The best preservative against dry rot is the following 
of Mr. Schwartze, who made millions by it, and by whose recent 
death the secret was revealed : 1 part oil of cassia, 1 part woodtar and 
1 part common train oil ; apply three coats on the reverse sides and on 
the ends of planks, floors, etc. In all probability oil of cassia played 
the chief role as preservative. — Ibid., 482. 

Am A& r x8 P 7 h 7 ? rm } Gleanings from the Foreign Journals 171 

Ice Machines. — Carre uses water ammonia, or ether, all of which 
have some inconveniences which prevent them from being used as 
much as they deserve. Windhausen uses compressed air, but the 
machine is somewhat difficult to manage. Pictet (Geneve) uses anhy- 
dric sulphurous acid, which is very easy of application ; it exerts at 
— 10° C. a little over one atmosphere and at +35 C. not more than 
four atmospheres' pressure. Sulphurous acid does not corrode the 
metal, nor does it dissolve the lubricating grease, which, by the way, 
is not necessary in every place, since the sulphurous acid acts itself as 
a lubricator. These latter machines make ice at an expense of 10 — - 
12 frcs. per 1,000 kilos. — Ibid,, 1877, p. 19. 


By the Editor. 

Pilocarpina and its Salts.— A. W. Gerrard has succeeded in 
purifying pilocarpina by dissolving the nitrate in boiling alcohol, from 
which it separates on cooling in tufts of white shining crystals ; by 
three crystallizations it can be obtained in an almost perfect state of 
purity. The alcohol holds in so'ution a small portion of the salt. By 
dissolving the crystals in water, treating the solution with potassa T 
shaking with chloroform, and evaporating this solvent, the purified 
alkaloid is obtained. By dissolving the alkaloid in water, neutralizing 
with acid, and evaporating spontaneously, the following salts were 
obtained in a crystalline state, the nitrate and phosphate being more 
stable, and showed the following behavior to solvents.: 

Water. Alcohol. Ether. Chloroform. Benzol. Carbon bisulpfud i 

Nitrate soluble, sparingly in cold insoluble. insoluble, insoluble. insoluble. 

Phosphate soluble, sparingly in cold, insoluble. insoluble, insoluble. insoluble. 

Acetate soluble, soluble. soluble. soluble. soluble. insoluble 

Hydrochlorate... soluble, soluble. insoluble. soluble. insoluble. insoluble, 

Hydrobromate.... soluble, soluble. insoluble. soluble. ? insoluble. 

— Phar. Jour, and Trans., Sept. 23. 

Aconite Alkaloids. — C. R. A. Wright read a paper on this sub 
ject before the British Pharmaceutical Conference, in which he 
detailed his successful experiments for obtaining crystallized aconitia 
essentially by Duquesnel's process, and gives his analytical results. An 
amorphous base, perhaps napellina, was likewise obtained ; but it is 
uncertain yet whether it pre-exists in the fresh root or is formed iq 
drying or during the extraction process. 

172 Gleanings from the Foreign Journals { Am xin^!j£ rm " 

The method that ought to be adopted for the preparation of a phar- 
maceutical product of constant composition and properties is : ist, 
percolation by alcoholic tartaric acid, and evaporation to a small bulk 
at as low a temperature as possible ; 2d, crystallization from ether of 
the base separated by sodium or potassium carbonate from the aqueous 
solutions of the extract (after separation of resin, &c.) ; in this way, 
an inert, bitter base, if present, would be separated j and, 3d, further 
purification by conversion into a crystalline salt (hydrobromate). In 
this way, small quantities of another base which obstinately adheres to 
aconitia when crystallized from ether, are separated. The base 
obtained in this way is a simple body, expressed by the formula 
C 32 H 43 N0 12 ; in a state of great purity, and possessing high physiolo- 
gical activity. — Ibid. 

Non-existence of Aricina. — Pelletier and Cariol obtained from a 
cinchona bark an alkaloid which they called aricina (from the Peruvian 
port Arica) ; the same alkaloid was obtained by Boerkoehn, who 
named it cusconina, from Cusco, the port of exportation of the bark. 
Manzini isolated afterwards from the pale penquina an alkaloid, cincho- 
vatina (from Cinch, ovata), which Bouchardat and Winckler proved 
to be identical with aricina. O. Hesse has recently re-examined these 
barks, and arrived at the conclusion that the aricina and cinchovatina, 
when perfectly pure, are identical with cinchonidia. The same alkaloid 
is also that recentlv obtained by De Vrij from a cinchona bark from 
Jamaica, and by him supposed to be new. — Zeitschr. Oesterr. Jpoth. 
Ver., 1876, No. 34, from Ann. d. Chem., clxxxi, 58. 

Cinchona Culture in Java. — The cinchona bark harvest in Java 
was completed at the end of September, and yielded fully 45,000 kilos, 
of which 1 1,534 kilos were ready for shipment to Europe. At the 
auction sale in Amsterdam of the cinchona bark harvest of 1 875, 
which took place June 1, 1876, the amount realized was 111,314.16 
florins, while the total expenses of the culture during that year were 
49,857.46 fls. Dr. C. Hasskarl, in his quarterly report, states that the 
decree of the Dutch government to send him to South America for 
the purpose of transplanting the cinchonas to Java, is dated June 30, 
1852, so that the twenty-fifth anniversary of that culture is near at 
hand. — Pbar. Handehbl., Jan. 17. 

The Conversion of ricinoleic into stearic acid has been effected 

A \l°nJ%™'} Gleanings from the Foreign Journals. 173 

by A. Claus and Hassenkamp. Pure ricinoleic acid is made by frac- 
tional precipitation of castor oil soap with calcium chloride, the first 
two-sixths being impure, the next three-sixths fractions pure ricinoleate 
of calcium. The acid had the composition C 13 H 34 3 , and yielded with 
nascent hydrogen iodide (generated by adding phosphorus and iodine in 
the presence of a little water, and heating in a water-bath) iodstearidenic 
acid, C 18 H33l0 2 . On treating the latter with nascent hydrogen, by 
boiling with zinc filings and hydrochloric acid, stearic acid, C^H^O,. 
was obtained, and its identity proven by the form of the crystals, its 
solubility, fusing point, elementary composition, and the properties of 
its ethylic ether. — Ber. Ckem. Ges., 1876, 1916. 

Emodin in Frangula Bark.— Old frangula bark was exhausted 
with dilute soda solution, and the liquid precipitated by hydrochloric 
acid ; the precipitate was again boiled with soda and precipitated by 
HC1, then washed, dried and repeatedly crystallized from boiling: 
absolute alcohol. A small quantity of a glucoside was removed by 
boiling with dilute sulphuric acid and crystallizing from alcohol or 
glacial acetic acid. C. Liebermann and M. Waldstein obtained it 
from the latter liquid in the form of orange-colored silky needles, 
containing acetic acid and water, which are expelled at 140 C, the 
crystals becoming opaque. 

Ultimate analysis proving the composition of the crystals to be 
C 15 H 10 O 5 , their identity with emodin from rhubarb was further proven 
by the solubilities, form of crystals and color of alkaline solutions 
also by the following behavior : baryta and lime water yield red 
precipitates, which are somewhat soluble in boiling water with a red 
color ; alum solution dissolves slightly with a yellow color, ammonia 
yielding red precipitates ; evaporation with nitric acid yields yelLw 
nitro-compounds, soluble in water with a red color ; the behavior 
towards glacial acetic acid was that stated above. 

The frangulinic acid of Faust differs in some respects from emodin ; 
it is not impossible that it may be contained in the recent bark and 
gradually converted into emodin by oxidation. — Ber, Deutsch Chem* 
Ges., 1876, p. 1775-1778. 

The Strength of Tincture of Nux Vomica. — L. Siebold exam- 
ined ten samples of this tincture, u British Pharmacopoeia," and 
obtained extracts, varying for 1000 cc. of tincture between 2*7 and ro'l 

3 74 

Gleanings from the Foreign Jonrnals. 

Am. Jour. Pharm. 
April, 1877. 

grams. The amount of the tinctures necessary to impart a decidedly 
bitter taste to IO'OOO parts of water varied between 4 and 14 parts. 
This difference in the strength is mainly attributed, by the author, to 
the use of nux vomica in powder of different degrees of fineness ; for 
by prolonging the maceration from two to six days, the amount of extract 
was not materially increased. The author recommends that, in pre- 
paring the tincture, pharmacists should use the very finely powdered 
seeds only ; 10 cc. of such a tincture should yield not less than '09 
grams of dry extract ; one fluid drachm of it should impart a distinctly 
bitter taste to two gallons of water ; and the addition of ten to twenty 
volumes of water to one volume of the tincture ought to produce a 
marked opalescence. — Phar. four, and Trans., Sept. 30. 

Tincture of nux vomica, " British Pharmacopoeia," is much weaker 
than that of " United States Pharmacopoeia," being made of two 
ounces to one imperial pint. 

A simple separatory funnel has been con- 
structed by C. Bulk ; it consists of a glass globe q 
having two tubulures and a delivery tube r. The 
latter is closed by the conical end of a glass rod, 
which at s is fastened into a cork and can be raised 
and lowered by means of a glass thread fused spirally 
upon the rod, and by turning the handle t. The 
apparatus has been frequently employed by the author 
and works quite satisfactorily.— Ber. Chem. Ges., 
187-, p. 1898. 

Santonate of sodium is prepared, by Lepage, by 
dissolving 10 grams of santonin in 100 grams of 
diluted alcohol, kept hot by means of a water bath, 
adding 80 grams of lime, previously slaked and sus- 
pended in a little water, and stirring frequently until 
the rose color produced has disappeared and calcium 
santonate been formed ; then pour in a solution of 90 
grams of sodium carbonate in 180 grams of water, 
agitate briskly, set aside to deposit, and filter. Con- 
centrate the filtrate until it weighs 200 or 220 grams ; 
after twelve hours powder the mass, suspend it in 
800 grams of 90 per cent, alcohol, agitate frequently 
and after some hours decant from the excess of sodium carbonate, 

Am 4rn r ;^' m } Gleanings from the Foreign Journals. 175 

which is to be washed with 200 grams of fresh alcohol. The solu- 
tion is concentrated to 400 grams and set aside to crystallize ; from 
150 to 160 grams of small prismatic needles will be obtained, and 
about 20 to 25 grams more from the mother liquor. 

The white salt contains 51 per cent, of santonic acid, dissolves in 
3 parts of water and 4 of alcohol, the solutions having an alkaline 
reaction and a bitter taste. 

Syrup of santonate of sodium is made by dissolving 5 grams of 
the powdered salt in 900 grams of warm simple syrup and add 100 
grams of syrup of orange flowers •> a tablespoonful or 20 grams of the 
syrup contain 0*05 sodium santonate. — Pbar. Jour, and Trans., Oct. 
14, from Jour, de Pbar. 

Pill Coating. — The secret of successfully coating pills, according 
to Mr. Thos. HafFenden, is to varnish (with tolu and ether), first ren- 
dering them partially water-proof ; then it is simply a question of 
manipulation to get a pearl-like covering with mucilage and French 
chalk ; or albumen, freshly prepared in the way recommended for 
albumenized paper for photography, may be substituted for mucilage. 
- — Phar. Jour, and Trans., Sept. 23. 

Preparation of Phenylsulphate of Potassium. — E. Baumann 
has obtained this salt from human urine, of which it is a normal con- 
stituent. It is readily prepared, synthetically, by boiling, for some 
time, powdered pyro-sulphate of potassium with a concentrated aqueous 
solution of phenol potassium, adding some alcohol and filtering while 
hot ; on cooling, shining scales of the salt are obtained, which, after 
washing with alcohol, are nearly pure. The formation of the salt is 
explained by the equation : C 6 H 6 KO+K 2 S a 7 =C 6 H 6 KS0 4 +K a S0 4 . 

Cresylsulphate of potassium, which is a normal constituent of the 
urine of the horse, may be obtained by a similar reaction of cresol 
potassium ; and resorcin behaves to pyro-sulphate of potassium like 
cresol and phenol. The resorcin compound is very readily soluble, 
and has not been obtained in crystals. — Ber. Deutsch. Cbem. Ges. y 
1876, p. 1715. 

Precipitated Sulphur. — L. Siebold states that if hydrochloric acid 
be added to the solution of sulphur, in lime and water, until a slight 
alkaline reaction remains, the precipitated sulphur will be much superior 
to that obtained by using sufficient hydrochloric acid to decompose 

176 Gleanings from the Foreign Journals. { Am A^i; I 1 ™™' 

both the pentasulphide and hyposulphite of calcium. The sulphur 
obtained under the last-named circumstance is coarser, heavier and 
darker in color, and does not exhibit the same perfect globular form 
under the microscope. Pure hydrochloric acid should be used to avoid 
the greyish tint imparted by iron sulphide, which has such a strong 
surface attraction for the sulphur that it cannot be removed by wash- 
ing the latter with dilute hydrochloric acid. — Phar. Jour, and Trans. y 
Sept. 30. 

Solution of Chlorinated Soda. — If chlorinated lime is decomposed 
by a solution of carbonate of sodium, the precipitate remains sus- 
pended and a clear liquid is, with difficulty, obtained by decantation. 
By the use of bicarbonate of sodium a crystalline precipitate of carbonate 
of calcium is formed, which readily subsides ; a slight excess of the 
bicarbonate is rather advantageous. — Apoth. Zeitung, 1876, No. 51, 
from Indust. Bl. 

Lac Ferri.— Under this name a preparation is sold, containing ferric 
phosphate in suspension. It is made by precipitating very dilute solu- 
tions of ferric chloride and sodium phosphate, washing carefully and 
removing the last traces of free acid by a little sodium carbonate. The 
amount of phosphate is then ascertained by drying a portion, and the 
moist precipitate is mixed with water until the mixture contains 1 to 1*2 
per cent, of ferric phosphate.— Phar. Zeitung, No. 7, / O~0 

Elixir of Monobromated Camphor. — Dambier recommends to 
dissolve 40 grams of sugar in 60 grams of 56 per cent, alcohol by the aid 
of heat ; filter if necessary, and add, while hot, 0*50 gram of mono- 
bromated camphor. A tablespoonfui of the solution, which may be 
aromatized to suit the taste, weighs 20 grams and contains O'lO gram 
(ij grains) of the bromine compound. 

The author endeavored to effect the formation of monobromated 
camphor by heating bromine and camphor in the requisite proportion 
in the presence of alcohol and simple syrup, but although obtaining a 
colorless liquid, is inclined to regard it as containing mainly hydrobromic 
acid and unaltered camphor. — V Union Phar., 1876, December, 353. 

I. Munday recommends an elixir of double the strength of the 
preceding, and suggests the substitution of sugar by glycerin, which 
retains the bromated camphor much better in water, remaining even 
perfectly clear with water in such proportions, which would separate a 
portion of the medicinal compound as a film from a saccharine elixir. 
He mixes 12 grams of 90 per cent, alcohol, 8 orange flower water and 
10 glycerin, and dissolves in the mixture 0*30 gram monobromated 
camphor^by the aid of a gentle heat. — Phar. Jour, and Trans., 1877. 
March 3. 

An A^rTx8?7. rm '} Gleanings from the Foreign Journals. 177 

A new mode for the treatment of antiscorbutic plants has 

been communicated to the Paris Pharmaceutical Society by Messrs. 
Dusart and Chapoteaut. The authors noticed that when fresh horse- 
radish root and the fresh leaves of scurvy grass and water cress are 
subjected to strong pressure, the resulting juice is but slightly charged 
with the odorous principle, nearly the whole of which remains in the 
press-cake, which, when macerated or displaced with alcohol, will yield 
a tincture strongly charged with the volatile oil contained in these vege- 
tables. Based upon this observation, the authors recommend a modi- 
fication of the process for the antiscorbutic syrup of French pharmacy, 
substituting the wine ordered by one-fourth its weight of stronger 
alcohol and three-fourths of water. The juice, expressed as above, 
although it contains but little volatile oil, resists putrefaction for a long 
time. — Rep. de Phar., 1876, p. 737. 

Gynandropsis pentaphylla, a plant often met with in our gar- 
dens, is, according to Prof. W. Dymock, known in India as kanphootee, 
and its juice, like that of Polanisia icosandria, is used in purulent dis- 
charge from the ears. 

Tous-les-mois is stated, in the " Bombay Flora," to be obtained 
from Canna lutea. Prof. Dymock finds its starch to correspond with 
the commercial article. The rhizomes of C. indica and C. discolor 
yield a similar starch ; but they also contain a good deal of coloring 
matter, from which the rhizome of C. lutea is almost free. — Phar. 
Jour, and Trans., Dec. 2. 

Picric Cotton has recently been employed in some of the French 
hospitals, for the dressing of wounds, upon the recommendation of 
Dr. Eug. Curie. Mr. P. Vigier has prepared it by dissolving 0*25 
grams of picric acid in 25 grams of ether, or of 94 per cent, alcohol, 
and immersing in this solution 10 grams of clean cotton, taking care 
that, by moderately pressing in every direction, it is uniformly mois- 
tened, after which it requires merely to be dried at a moderate heat. — 
Rep, de Phar., 1876, p. 705. 

Alkaloid in Heliotropium europaeum. — Battandier boiled about 
ten kilos of the plant with acidulated water, evaporated the decoction 
to a syrupy consistence, precipitated by strong alcohol, and evaporated 
the alcohol from the clear filtrate ; the residue was treated with potassa 
and ether, the green etherial solution with water acidulated with sul- 
phuric acid and this aqueous liquid again with potassa and ether. The 

178 Extr actum Colocynthidis Coynpositum. { Al ^Sfcf:? ^ 

etherial solution was now colorless, and on evaporation left a thick oil> 
which gradually concreted into a butyraceous mass, composed of micro- 
scopic crystalline lamellae, and afterwards formed prisms weighing about 
2.5 grams. It is soluble in water and diluted acids, has a bitter taste 
like quinia, is white, easily turning yellow, and when heated fuses and 
partly volatilizes. Its salts burn with a hornlike odor, leaving a volu- 
minous charcoal, and in solution become dark-colored and odorous. 

This heliotropia is precipitated by tannin, potassio-iodide of mercury, 
potassio-iodide of bismuth, biniodide of potassium and picric acid y 
alkalies separate it in white oily drops ; bromine converts it into a resin- 
like mass. Froehde's reagent produces a brown, and potatsium bichro- 
mate with sulphuric acid a green color. It is not affected by acids, 
platinic or mercuric chloride. The sulphate and hydrochlorate could 
not be obtained crystallized. The alkaloid is poisonous, but requires 
larger doses than either strychnia or morphia. Heliotropium peruvianum 
appears to contain a larger proportion of the alkaloid. Hel. supinum 
and curassavicum have not vet been examined by the author. — Rep. de 
Phar., 1876, p. 673 and 739. 


By Olaf Martin Oleson, Ph.G. 
{Abstract fram a thesis presented to tJie Philadelphia College of Pharmacy.) 

It has been the author's aim to devise a process by which the quality 
of the compound extract of colocynth may be approximately deter- 
mined. Since the active principles of the different ingredients cannot 
be readily isolated and no methods are known for determining them 
quantitatively (perhaps scammonv resin excepted), it was determined 
to try the effects of simple solvents upon the alcoholic extracts of the 
ingredients with the view of making use thereof for the determination 
of the purity of the officinal extract. 

The different ingredients entering into the compound extract of 
colocynth experimented upon, were selected from the best in the mar- 
ket. The resin of scammony answered to the tests of the U. S. P. 
The extract of colocynth, as also the purified aloes, were prepared 
according to the " Pharmacopoeia." The cardamoms were freshly 
powdered. The soap was obtained from good commercial u white 
Castile," dried on a water-bath and powdered. 

The course of analysis pursued was as follows : Ten (10) grams 
each of the different ingredients were percolated, separately, with 
stronger alcohol, until the percolate passed colorless and tasteless ; the 

Am. Jour. Pharm ) 
April, 1877. j 

Extractum Colocynthidis Compositum. 


solution was evaporated and the residue dried on a water-bath and 
weighed. It was next treated with ether and the residue left on evap- 
oration with petroleum benzin. The part insoluble in the latter liquid 
was next dissolved in solution of potassa, and the solution supersaturated 
with dilute muriatic acid ; the precipitate, if any, was washed with 
water, dried and weighed. The part soluble in petroleum benzin was,, 
also, nearly soluble in solution of potassa, but almost wholely precipi- 
tated with dilute muriatic acid. The solubilities of the five ingredients 
in the different menstrua will be seen in the following table, which is 
the average of three different experiments, agreeing closely in their 
results : 






Not precip. by 

Ten Grams in 



in petroleum 

in petroleum 

in solution 

dil. muriatic 





of potassa. 


Purified aloes, 







Ext. of colocynth, 





















Resin of scammony, 






The ingredients enter into the composition of compound extract of 
colocynth in the following proportions (following the order in which 
they are enumerated in the preceding table), 24, 7, 3, 6 and 6, making 
a total of 46 parts. By multiplying each figure, as given in the above 
table, with the figure indicating the proportion of the ingredient, and 
dividing by 46, the relative amount of each, as contained in 10 grams 
of the extract, is found, if the latter be treated in the manner indicated 
above : 

Purified aloes, 
Ext. colocynth, 

Res. scammony, 

Sol. in strong 





Sol. in 1 Sol. in 
ether, petroleum benzin. 

The portion ins. in bejizin 




Soluble in 

■ 1 1 

i - 30 

Xot precip, 




Total, 778 2*00 -17 1-82 1-32 

The compound extract of colocynth was made from the ingredients 
used in the above experiments, and was then subjected to the same 
treatment, three assays being made. The officinal extract, as obtained 
from a manufacturer of undisputed reliability, was likewise assayed 
twice ; the results (averages) obtained in these assays as compared with 
the theoretical results calculated from the experiments upon the simple 
substances, will be found in the following table : 

1 80 Detection of Castor Oil in Copaiba. { Am x J P X Iz%! m ' 

Etherial extract. Insoluble por- 
Ten grams Soluble in strong Alcoh. extract Sol. in Insol in tion dissolved in 

Comp. extr. colocynth, strong alcohol. sol, in ether. benzin. benzin. KHO, then aci- 

dulated by HC1. 
dis. Precip. 

Theoretical Yield, 7*78 2-00 -17 1-83 1*32 -51 

Own make, 7*11 4-12 '90 3*00 2*55 -45 

Manufacturer, 770 4*35 roo 3*25 2*13 I'ii 

On comparing the results in the last table, it will be seen that they 
do not exactly correspond. The amounts soluble in stronger alcohol 
are nearly alike. The ether, on the contrary, dissolved twice as much 
when the ingredients were all mixed together as when they were 
treated separately. In order to verify this by direct experiment, I took 
one gram of the compound extract of colocynth, also one gram of 
£ach of its ingredients, put them separately into six two-ounce vials, 
and treated them respectively with one and a half fluidounces of ether, 
shaking them occasionally for two days. The ether was next poured 
off* and evaporated, and by weighing, it was found that the soluble por- 
tion of the compound extract of colocynth weighed a little more than 
twice as much as the sum of the soluble parts of the ingredients, 
treated separately, calculated in the same proportion as they exist in 
the compound extract. The petroleum benzin, as well as the solution 
of potassa, dissolved more of the compound extract of colocynth than 
they did of its component parts, when treated with them separately ; 
while the dilute muriatic acid did not throw down as much precipitate 
as was calculated, from the amount of scammony resin, which was 
expected to be the only principle remaining in solution. It will be 
seen from the above, that there is something else in this extract, besides 
the resin of scammony, that is soluble in solution of potassa, and not 
precipitated by dilute muriatic acid. It may be that the soap, or some 
of the other ingredients, act as solvents. 

I tried to separate, from the compound extract, the aloes, soap and 
part of the extract of colocynth, by treating it with water ; as the two 
first are almost entirely soluble, and the latter partially so, in that men- 
struum. By experiments it was found that nearly all of the compound 
extract of colocynth was dissolved, which was undoubtedly due to the 
solvent action of the soap. 


By Dr. Muter. 

This oleo-resin, commonly but wrongly termed a balsam, has been 
said, in books, for many years back, to be subject to admixture with 

1 Read before the Society of Public Analysts, November 15th, 1876. From 
**' The Analyst," November 30, 1876. 

Am A&8 7 h 7 £ : rm -} Detection of Castor Oil in Copaiba. 1 8 1 

fixed oils, especially castor oil. The " British Pharmacopoeia " fur- 
nishes a qualitative method of examination, but the tests are, in prac- 
tice, totally insufficient, as the exact degree of rectification of the- 
benzol (an important point) is not stated, and the difference between a 
pure balsam stain and that with a small percentage of oil is very slight, 
unless the two are observed side by side. The other methods which 
have been proposed may be summarized as follows : 

1. Pure balsam gives a translucent and nor an opaque emulsion, with, 
strong solution of ammonia. 

2. Pure balsam, if boiled with water for some hours, leaves a tena- 
cious resin. 

3. The specific gravity. 

The latter test is entirely fallacious, owing to the great variation \m 
commercial samples, and the others, though possibly characteristic with) 
large admixtures, fail with anything under 20 per cent. 

Observing the close affinity between copaivic and pinic acids, it 
struck me that advantage might be taken of the difference of solubility 
of the sodium soaps in certain menstrua. A very good solvent for 
sodium pinate has been discovered by M. Barfoed to be a mixture of 
five parts, by volume, of absolute ether, and one part absolute alcohoL, 
which, moreover, only dissolves sodium oleate to an exact extent, cor- 
responding to 1 in 1000 of oleic acid. I will not occupy space by 
detailing, at length, the numerous experiments on a great number o& 
samples of balsam, varying in age and color, from every known com- 
mercial source, but the whole thing ended in the certain conclusion) 
that besides the essential oil (which is dissipated in the process of 
analysis) good commercial balsam contains only copaivic acid, which* 
forms a sodium salt, instantly soluble in the ether-alcohol mixture, and: 
a little altered resin not so readily saponifiable, forming a salt only 
slowly soluble. The amount of this second resin I have found to 
vary slightly, and, in very old samples, especially of Maranham bal- 
sam, may sometimes amount to 5 per cent., although usually really 
less. Going upon the principle that performing any official analysis 
the lowest commercial standard should be taken, I have adopted six 
per cent, as the highest possible quantity of the second resin ever 
existing in any sample of balsam still having a trace of odor remaining. 

1 8 2 Detection of Castor Oil in Copaiba. { Am ^;^ rm 

This wide standard may sometimes lead to an under-estimation of the 
oil bv two or three per cent., but renders any over-estimation impos- 

The actual process I employ is as follows : 3 to 4 grams of the 
sample are weighed into a clean, dry flask, and saponified on the water- 
bath with 50 cc. of alcohol and a lump of caustic soda, weighing not 
less than 5 grams. When all is dissolved water is added, and the 
whole washed into a half- pint basin so as to nearly fill it, and evapor- 
ated to 100 cc. over a low gas flame. Dilute sulphuric acid is then 
added until the whole just becomes permanently turbid, and then solu- 
tion of caustic soda is dropped in till it just clears again. By this 
means a solution is obtained with the least possible excess of alkali, 
and with a good amount of sodium sulphate. The whole is now 
evaporated to perfect dryness 1 on the water-bath, stirring towards the 
end, so that the sulphate may mix with the soaps and produce an 
easily pulverulent residue. The residue is removed from the basin 
into a small, wide-mouthed, stoppered bottle, and treated with 70 cc. 
of ether-alcohol, and well shaken up. As soon as it is fairly settled 
the fluid is filtered off through a quick filter, and this is repeated with 
two successive quantities of 70 cc, making 210 cc. in all of the sol- 
vent used. The residue in the bottle and on the filter now consists of 
sodium oleate and sulphate if the balsam be impure, and of the latter 
only if pure, with a little trace of the insoluble resin soap already 
referred to. The contents of the bottle and filter are then dissolved 
in warm water, and, after heating until all smell of ether is gone, the 
whole is boiled, freely acidulated with hydrochloric acid and set to cool. 
If, when cold, nothing but a few specks of brown resin should rise to 
the surface, the balsam is pure, but if an oily layer be formed, it is 
adulterated, and the smell of the separated oleic acid will at once 
determine whether it is actually castor oil or not. In the case of the 
presence of oil, two grams of pure and dry white wax are added, and 
the whole heated till the wax melts with the oleic acid. On cooling a 
solid cake is formed, which is detached from the side of the beaker 
and the fluid below passed through a filter. The cake is once 
more melted in boiling water, cooled, detached, dried by gentle 
pressure in blotting paper, put into the water oven in a weighed 

1 The best way to insure absolute dryness is to moisten the apparently dry residue 
with a few drops of absolute alcohol and again dry. 

Am A P ?Ci8 7 h 7 ! rm '} Detection of Castor Oil in Copaiba. 183 

platinum dish till dry, and then weighed, and the weight of the wax 
used deducted. The beaker, filter and rod, etc., used are, if at all 
dirty, dried, extracted with ether, and the residue left, after evapora- 
tion weighed and added to the total. 

The calculation is then performed as follows : 

1. To the weight in grams found add "io for loss of oleic acid in 
solvent, and then say as 

95 : 100 :: total oleic acid. 

2. Calculate to per cent, from the quantity taken, and from the 
total per centage deduct six per cent, for possible altered resin in the 

Out of the whole number of samples I have done, I have selected 
the following twelve as being fair representations of the degree of 
accuracy obtainable by the process. The error, owing to the correc- 
tion, of course, increases with the amount of oil present, but it is 
always an error in the direction of under-estimation, which is the great 
point for public analysts. 

Nature of Sample. 
Para (pale) ..... 
Para (pale) ..... 

Old Para (dark) 

Old Para (dark). .... 

Carthage (medium) 
Carthage (medium) .... 

Maranham (pale) .... 

Maramham (pale) ...... 

Old Maranham (darkish, very little odor) 
Old Maranham (darkish, ver)' little odor) , 
Para (fine pale) ..... 

Para (fine pale) . 

In conclusion, I may say that the process, although it looks formida- 
ble, is in practice very simple, and for all ordinary purposes, if the 
beaker be well scraped out, the weight of the main cake may be taken 
as sufficient to give an analysis true within 3 per cent, below the real 
amount, which is accurate enough for public purposes, and saves time 
and the expense of the extra ether. Unless oil actually floats and 
remains, on cooling, in fluid drops, after adding the hydrochloric acid, the 
sample may be passed as good. 

When working on three to four grams, with an admixture of not 
over 25 per cent., the errors due to loss of oleic acid and insoluble 




No oil drops. 

23-60 percent, castor 



No oil drops . 

51*0 per cent. 


5o - o per cent. 


No oil drops. 

21 -5 per cent. 




No oil drops. 

26*5 per cent. 




No oil drops. 

47-3 per cent. 




No oil drops. 

2i*4 per cent. 

lard oil 

20 9 


( Am. Jour. Pharm. 
\ April, 1877. 

resin soap respectively so nearly balance each other that any correc- 
tion is unnecessary, and the actual amount of oleic acid found may be 
taken as correct within a per cent. — Phar. Jour, and Trans., Dec. 30 r 


Notes on Perfumery. By Wm. Saunders, London, Ont. 1 — Alcohol. — One of 
the first requisites in the manufacture of good perfumes is pure alcohol, free from 
fusel oil or other foreign flavor. This purer grade of spirit is known in commerce 
as pure spirits, silent spirits, or deodorized alcohol, and may readily be distinguished 
from ordinary alcohol by the absence of that peculiar pungency of odor which is 
present to a greater or less extent in most commercial samples. 

Ottos or Essential Oils. — It is of the greatest importance that these should be 
strictly pure and of the finest quality. 

Pomades. — From these are prepared some of the simple extracts in the appended 
formulas, such as jasmine, tuberose, and cassia. The quality must be that known 
as triple pomade. The simple extracts are prepared as follows : one pound of the 
pomade is cut in small pieces and placed in a bottle of sufficient capacity, in which 
is put a pint of pure spirit. Place the bottle suitably stoppered in a water-bath, and 
apply heat sufficient to barely melt the pomade, shake well together, and repeat the 
shaking frequently until the fatty matter solidifies. In this way the pomade will be 
reduced to a finely divided or granular state, permeated thoroughly by the spirit. 
Allow this to stand for several days, giving it an occasional shake, then drain off 
the liquid extract into another bottle ; if this fall short of a pint repeat the operation 
with a sufficient quantity of alcohol to make up to this measure. By subsequent 
and similar treatment, a second and even a third quantity of extract may be made, 
which although much weaker, will be found useful in the preparation of cheaper 

Extract of Orris. — Seven pounds of finely ground orris root of good quality is 
treated by percolation with pure alcohol until one gallon of extract is obtained. 

Extract Vanilla. — Four ounces of vanilla beans of the finest quality, powdered 
finely in a mortar with a sufficient quantity of dry white sugar (from four to six 
ounces), pack in a percolator, and percolate with proof spirit until one gallon is 

Extract Tonka. — Take one pound of tonka beans, reduce to a coarse powder, and 
percolate with alcohol to make one gallon. 

Extract Musk. — Take of pure grain musk of the first quality two drachms. Mix 
half an ounce of liquor potassas with four ounces of proof spirit, and triturate the 
musk with this mixture until it is thoroughly softened, and reduced to a creamy 
state 5 add enough proof spirit to make up about one pint ; stir well, then allow the 

^he introductory part of this paper contains some historical notes and general remarks on perfumery 
which will be read with interest in the .Proceedings of the American Pharmaceutical Association, 1876. 
We can make room for the practical part only. — Editor. 

Am. Jour. Pharm. ) 
April, 1877. ) 



coarser particles to subside, and pour off the supernatant fluid. Rub the coarser 
portions again with a fresh portion of spirit, proceeding as before, and repeat the 
process until the musk is entirely reduced, and the quantity of extract measures 
three pints. Allow this to stand for a fortnight with occasional shaking, when it 
will be ready for use. 

Extract Styrax. — Eight drachms of styrax balsam dissolved in one pint of 

Benzoic Acid. — Only that prepared from gum benzoin should be used. 


Jockey Club. 

5 ounces 

1 2 drachms 

40 minims 
2 drachms 

Ext. Jasmin, ..... 

" Orris, . . . . . 

" Musk, ..... 

" Vanilla, . 
Otto Rose, Virgin, ..... 

" Santal Flav., ..... 

" Bergamot, . . . 

" Neroli Super., .... 
Benzoic Acid, ..... 
Pure Spirit, sufficient to make four pints. 

In this, as well as in all the following extracts, before adding the last portion, ot 
the spirit, replace as much of it with water as the perfume will bear without becom- 
ing milky, which will vary from two to eight ounces or more. This addition will 
make the perfume softer. 

Victoria . 
j Otto Rose, Virgin, 
! " Neroli, Super, 

Ylang Tlang. 

Ext. Tonka, . .3 ounces 

" Musk, . 4 " 

" Tuberose, . . 4 tl 

« Cassia, . 4 " 

" Orris, . . 8 " 

Otto Orange, nenv, . 2 drachms 
" Neroli, Super, . . £ drachm 

Pure Spirit, sufficient to make four pints. 


Ext. Tuberose, 

" Musk, 

" Jasmin, 
Otto Rose, Virgin, 

" Neroli, Super, . 
Benzoic Acid, . 

24 ounces 

4 " 
1 " 

1 drachm 
10 minims 

2 drachms 

Pure Spirit, sufficient to make four pints. 

Moss Rose. 
Otto Rose, Virgin, . 

" Santal Flav., 
Ext. Musk, . 

" Vanilla, 

" Orris, . 

" Jasmin, . . 4 " 

Benzoic Acid, . . 1 drachm 

Pure Spirit, sufficient to make four pints 

2 drachms 
2 " 
12 ounces 

4 " 
2 " 

















" Coriander, . 
" Pimento, 
" Lavender (English 
Ext. Jasmin, 
" Orris, 
" Musk, . 
Benzoic Acid, . 
Pure Spirit, sufficient to make four pints,, 

Ess. Bouquet. 

Ext. Musk, . . .4 ounces 

" Tuberose, . 2 " 

Otto Rose, Virgin, . . 1 drachm 

" Bergamot, . . i£ £c 

" Neroli, Super, . £ " 

" Verbena, true, . 8 minims 
" Pimento, . . 10 ' 4 

" Patchouly, . 3 " 

" Red Cedar Wood, true, % drachm 
" Lavender, English, 12 minims 

Pure Spirit, sufficient to make four pints-.. 



( Am. Jour. Pharm, 
{ April, 1877. 

Wood Violet. 

Ext. Orris, . 

44 Tuberose, . 

" Jasmin, 

" Musk, 
Otto Bergamot, 

" Lavender, English, 

" Verbena, true, . 

44 Amygd. Amar., 

£ ' Coriander, 

" Sweet Flag, 

" Bay Leaves, . 
Benzoic Acid, . 

Pure Spirit, sufficient to make four pints 

12 ounces 
2 " 

1 " 

4 " 

2 drachms 
1 drachm 

10 minims 
12 " 
6 " 
4 " 
4 " 
i £ drachm 

West End. 

Ext Orris, . . .12 ounces 

" Jasmin, . 4 " 

44 Musk, . . . 8 " 

" Cassia, . 4 " 

44 Styrax, . . 1 " 

Otto Bergamot, . . 3 drachms 

44 Verbena, true, . .15 minims 
44 Neroli Super., . \ drachm 

44 Rose, Virgin, . . 1 ' 4 
" Red Cedar Wood, true, 1 44 

Benzoic Acid, . 1 44 

Pure Spirit, sufficient ro make four pints. 

White Rose. 

Otto Rose, Virgin, . . 2 drachms 

44 Red Cedar Wood, true, 6 minims 

" Patchouly, . 4 44 

41 Orange, fresh, . . \ drachm 

'.Ext. Tuberose, . . 2 ounces 

44 Orris, . . . 2 « 

44 Jasmin, . 2 " 

44 Musk, . . . 2 " 

Benzoic Acid, . . 1 drachm 

Pure Spirit (to which four ounces of 
rose-water has been added), sufficient 
to make four pints. 


Otto Patchouly, . . 2 drachms 
" Santal Flav., . 40 minims 

44 Rose, Virgin, . . 40 44 

Ext. Musk, . . 8 ounces 

44 Orris, . . . 8 44 

44 Vanilla, . 4 44 

44 Styrax, . . .2 drachms 

Pure Spirit, sufficient to make four pints. 


Ext. Musk, . 

44 Orris, 

44 Vanilla, 

44 Styrax, 
Otto Santal Flav., . 

44 Bergamot, . 

44 Neroli, Super, . 

44 Patchouly, . 

44 Lavender, English, 

44 Cinnamon, true. 

1 pint 

6 ounces 

2 44 

2 drachms 

1 drachm 

2 drachms 
10 minims 
12 44 

15 44 
6 44 

>Otto Lavender, English, 
14 Cloves, 
44 Bergamot, . 

44 Rose Geranium, Turkey, 2 drachm; 
44 Cinnamon, true, . 20 minims 
44 Rose, Virgin, . . 10 44 

" Santal Flav., . 1 drachm 

Ext. Musk, . 
44 Orris, 
44 Vanilla, 
Benzoic Acid, . . 1 drachm 

Pure Spirit, sufficient to make four pints. 

1 ounce 

2 ounces 

4 " 
2 44 

Pure Spirit, sufficient to make four pints. 

Spring Floivers. 

Ext. Orris, . . .4 ounces 

44 Jasmin, . . 4 44 

44 Musk, . . . 4. 44 

Otto Bergamot, . . 2 drachms 

4; Neroli, Super, . . 7} drachm 

44 Verbena, true, . 10 minims 
41 Red Cedar Wood, true, 1 drachm 

Benzoic Acid, . 1 44 

Pure Spirit, sufficient to make four pints. 


Ext. Cassia, . . .4 ounces 

44 Tuberose, . 4 44 

44 Jasmin, . 2 44 

44 Musk, . 8 44 

44 Orris, . . . 8 44 

4 < Tonka, . 3 " 

Otto Rose, Virgin, . . 1 drachm 
44 Neroli Super., . £ 44 

Benzoic Acid, . 1 44 

Pure Spirit, sufficient to make four pints. 


Otto Rose, Virgin, . . 1 drachm 

44 Red Cedar Wood, true, 1 44 
44 Orange, true, . . 1 44 

44 Pimento, . . 20 minims 

Ext. Orris, . . .6 ounces 

44 Jasmin, . 2 44 

44 Styrax, . . 1 ounce 

44 Tonka, . . 4 ounces 

Pure Spirit, sufficient to make four pints. 

Am. J&ar. Pharm. 
April, 1877. 

V arte ties. 


Neiv-Mo-ivn Haj 
Ext. Tonka, 

" Musk, 

" Orris, . 

" Vanilla, 

" Styrax, . 
Otto Bergamot, . 

" Neroli Super., . 

■** Rose, Virgin, 

" Cloves, 

** Lavender, English, 

" Patchouly, 

" SantalFlav., 
Benzoic Acid, 
Pure Spirit, sufficient to make four pints. 

25 ounces 

6 " 

8 " 

1 " 

1 " 

1 drachm 
1 5 minims 
10 " 

6 " 
10 u 
10 " 

I drachm 


Ext. Orris, . . 4 ounces 

" Tuberose, . 2 " 

" Musk, . . 4 " 

" Vanilla, . . 2 " 

" Jasmin, . . 1 " 

" Styrax, . . 1 " 

Otto Neroli Super., . 1 drachm 

" Rose, Virgin, . . £ - " 

" SantalFlav., . 1 " 

" Red Cedar Wood, true, 1 " 

" Pimento, . . \ " 

<{ Cassia, . . .20 minims 

" Bergamot, . . J drachm 

" Ginger, . . 4 drops 

" Lavender, English, 6 " 

Benzoic Acid, . . 2 drachms 

Pure Spirit, sufficient to make four pints. 

Glove Pink. 

Ext. Jasmin, . . 12 ounces 

" Orris, . . . 12 " 

" Musk, . 8 " 

Otto Rose, Virgin, . . 1 drachm 

" Cloves, . • 2 drachms 

" Neroli Super., . . 1 drachm 

il Pimento, . . 10 minims 

" Patchouly, . . 20 " 

" Santal Flav., . 2 drachms 

Benzoic Acid, . . 1 drachm 

Pure Spirit, sufficient to make four pints. 


Ext. Orris, . . 2 pints 

" Tuberose, . . 4 ounces 

" Vanilla, . 3 " 

" Musk, . . . 3 " 

" Tonka, . % " 

Otto Rose, Virgin, . . 1 drachm 

" Neroli Super., . 40 minims 

" Pimento, . . 12 " 

" Bergamot, . . 1 drachm 

Benzoic Acid, . 1 " 

Pure Spirit, sufficient to make four pints. 


Ext. Orris, 

" Tuberose, 

" Vanilla, 

" Musk, . 
Otto Rose, Virgin, 

'< Neroli Super., . 

" Pimento, . 
Benzoic Acid, 
Pure Spirit, sufficient to make four pints. 











I ; 





Discrimination of Fibres in Mixed Fabrics (Silk, Wool, Flax, Hemp, Cotton and 
Fhormium\ \Pinchon, polyt. Zeitscb.] — Treat with caustic soda or potassa : 

A. The fibres are attacked and partly dissolved : 

a. Chloride of zinc does not dissolve : 

1. Nitric acid colors yellow = Cotton. 

2. Nitric acid does not color = Flax. 

b. Chloride of zinc dissolves some of it : 

1 . Lead salts do not color black : 

a Picric acid colors yellow = Silk. 
0. Picric acid does not color = Cotton. 

2. Leadsalts color part of it black : 

a. Caustic potassa dissolves some of the fibres insoluble in zinc 
chloride = Wool. 

P. The remaining fibres are soluble in ammonio-oxide of copper — 
Silk, cotton. 

B. All fibres are dissolved in the lye : 

a. Chloride of zinc does not dissolve: 

1. Chlorine water, followed by ammonia, does not color: 

«. An alcoholic solution of fuchsin (1-20) dyes red, but the color , 

1 88 


J Am. Jour. Pharm 
\ April, 1877. 

can be washed off, and caustic potassa does not color the fibres 
yellow = Cotton. 

0. The red color (by fuchsin) can not be washed off 5 the fibres are 
colored yellow by caustic potassa : 
y. Iodine and sulphuric acid color yellow = Hemp, 
z. Color blue = Flax. 
2. Chlorine water and ammonia colors reddish-brown, and the fibres are 
colored red by nitric acid == Phormium. 

b. Chloride of zinc dissolves part of it or not at all : 

1. Insoluble ; colored black by lead salt — Wool. 

2. Partially soluble. 

«. The soluble part is not blackened by lead salt = Silk. 
P. The insoluble is blackened by lead salt = Wool. 

c. Chloride of zinc dissolves everything in the cold 5 the alkaline solution is not 

blackened by lead salt = Silk. — H. M. W. from Ny Pharm. Tid., 1877, 

p. 45- 

Variations in the Use of Medicines — Some interesting statistics are given m 
the "Archives Generales " on the amount of some new remedies supplied by the 
medical men of the Assistance Publique. In 1869, the Central Pharmacy dis- 
tributed 141 kilograms of chloroform against 308 kilograms in 1875. Chloral 
showed a still more rapid increase. In 1869 only 5 kilograms were required ; while 
in 1875 360.} were consumed. Iodoform, from 250 grams in 1859, rose to 28 kilo- 
grams in 1875; bromide of potassium rose from about 3 kilograms in 1855 to 
nearly 800 kilograms in 1875 5 opium showed but small variations, but the same 
cannot be said of morphia, no doubt from the general use of hypodermic injections, 
for, from 275 grams in 1875 tne amount rose to the enormous quantity of more 
than io,oco grams. A very large augmentation in medicinal substances was 
also seen in the alcohol used in the hospitals and infirmaries of Paris. Thus, in 
1855, the Assistance Publique only appropriated 1,270 litres of alcohol to the use 
of the sick, while, in 1875, 37>5 7 8 litres were used. The same increase is notice- 
able in rum and red wine. The use of white wine was sensibly diminished The 
use of leeches has gone nearly out of fashion. In 1834 and the following years up 
to 1837, the number of leeches employed exceeded a million ; in 1874 the number 
had fallen to 49,000 only. The consumption of sulphate of quinia is on the in- 
crease, and represents 53,734 grams in 1875 against 24,525 in 1855. — Med. and Surg, 
Rep., Feb. 24. 

Test of Bile — Dr. James Sawyer says, in a note to " The Lancet " on the use 
of iodine as a test for bile in urine : " I have used this test for nearly ten years, my 
first knowledge of it having been gained from Flint's ' Practice of Medicine.' I 
have found it best to place two or three drops of iodine liniment in a test-tube, and 
then to add about two drachms of the suspected urine. If the coloring-matter of 
bile be present the mixture will assume, on agitation, a brilliant sea-green color. 
This is a ready and reliable test, and one which I have long preferred to all others 
with which I am acquainted. — New York Med. Jour., Feb. 

Am. Jour. Pharm. 
April, 1877. 



Gilding and Silvering of Glass and Porcelain — E. Hansen has patented the 
following process: Sulphur is dissolved in oil of spike lavender until it has a semi- 
liquid consistence ; this is mixed with an etherial solution of chloride of gold or of 
platinum, and the mixture evaporated to the consistence of paint. The surface to 
be gilt or silvered is then covered with the mixture and the object carefully heated 
in a muffle, whereby the volatile substances are expelled and the metallic gold or 
platinum fastened upon the glass or porcelain. The surface, thus metallized, is 
afterwards plated in the usual manner with solutions of gold, silver or copper, and 
with the aid of a galvanic battery. — Chem. Centralbl., 1876. No. 50. 

The coloring for butter and cheese, which is very extensively employed in Den- 
mark, is made by intimately mixing one part of annatto with half its weight of alco- 
hol, digesting for a week, and then boiling with three to five parts of oil, until the 
annatto forms dark-brown granules and ceases to impart color to the oil. The price 
depends in part on the kind of oil employed — rapeseed, olive and other oils being 
used. To the cheese coloring a little turmeric is usually added. This coloring was 
first made by N. Blumensaadt, of Odense, but is now largely manufactured at 
Copenhagen. — Phar. Zeitung. No. 5. 

Ustilago maidis, the corn-smut or corn ergot, which has been chemically ex- 
amined by Mr. Ch. H. Cressler ("Am. Jour. Phar.," 1861, p. 306), has been 
repeatedly recommended for medicinal use, and is again brought forward by Dr. C. 
Henri Leonard, who has used it in the form of fluid extract in a case of labor, and 
contrasts its action with that of ergot j the uterine contraction of the latter is regarded 
as tonic, that from Ustilago seems to be regularly intermittent. If this should be 
proven to be a characteristic of its action, it will prove even more serviceable in 
labor than ergot. It was given in the dose of a teaspoonful, repeated in ten minutes ; 
and in spermatorrhoea it proved serviceable in doses of 10 to 20 drops. — Ne-iv Prep. 

The Hypnotic Action of Lactic Acid and Lactate of Soda. — Jeruselimsky has 
tried tried the effect of these substances in animals and in well and sick human 
beings. The experiments in animals (nine dogs and nine rabbits) gave no definite 
results, as these animals are not good subjects for the purpose. In himself, two 
healthy women and three men, the author has obtained only moderate effects with 
doses varying from 2 drachms to £ ounce. Lactic acid was administered in twenty- 
two cases of insomnia in the course of the most different diseases, but especially in 
hysteria, and the effect was incomplete in only a few cases. In most cases quiet 
sleep occurred a half to one hour after administration. The remedy was continued 
from two weeks to two and one half months (two or three times weekly). In com- 
bination with morphia, a much smaller quantity of the latter is required. Thus, 
an hysterical woman, who had been taking as much as two grains of morphia per 
day, slept five hours after taking one half grain of morphia with one-half ounce- 

190 Minutes of the Pharmaceutical Meeting. { Am ^jN:. 

lactate sofa.— Supplement to Med. Chir Centralblatt, 1876.— T. Med. 
Feb., 1877. 

The Sudden Checking of Opium Eating — The eminent Sir Robert Christison, 
after a large experience in the treatment of such cases, says that no good can be 
done by " gradual reduction, 1 ' and that it can be safely left off abruptly, even after 
many years' indulgence. He recommends bromide of potassium to allay irrita- 
bility, and chloral to procure sleep. For the first three days the patient suffers from 
great depression, loathing, sickness and vomiting. By the fourth night he falls 
asleep and awakes refreshed, and in most cases the progress afterward is very satis- 
factory. There is, however, great danger of a relapse. Should diarrhoea super- 
vene, suppositories of morphia should .be ordered. — South. Med. Rec, Feb. 

Expressed Oils of Cherry and Plum Seeds. — Guyot recommends the prepara- 
tion by expression of the fixed oils which are contained in the seeds of the cherry 
and the yellow plum (mirabelle) , particularly in those districts where the liquor 
known as kirscben-xvasser is manufactured. He obtained by extraction with ether 
6-4 per cent, of oil from the former and 107 per cent, from the latter seeds. The 
cherry oil is limpid, golden-yellow, and has a decided almond odor, which disap- 
pears on exposure after some time. The plum oil is similar, but darker yellow, and 
of a stronger almond odor. — Rep. de P/iar., 1876, p. 678. 

The Dispensing of Copaiba Resin. — Alfred Balkwill proposes the following 
form of exhibiting copaiba resin, which gives satisfaction to the prescriber and 
patient. It is no trouble to make, and the mixture, in elegance of appearance, per- 
manence and therapeutic action, is preferable to all other forms. 

It. Resinse Copaiba; jiss 

Olei Amygd. dulc giv 

Mucilag. Acacia; 5iss 

Liquor. Potassse 5ss 

Olei Cinnamomi gtt. r-i 

Aqua;, q. s, ad gvi 

A sixth part three times a day. 

Dissolve the resin in the oil, with gentle heat, then add the potassa solution, and 
form an emulsion. — P/iar. Jour, and Trans., Nov. 25, 1876. 


March 20TH, 1S77. 

The meeting was organized by electing Mr. S. S. Bunting to the chair. C. W. 
Hancock officiated as Registrar pro temp. 

Prof. Maisch presented a copy of Lindley's " Natural System of Botany," from 
D. B. Smith; also, a pamphlet from Dr. H. C. Wood entitled, "The United 
States Pharmacopoeia, and the American Medical Association also, samples of 
Calcutta catechu and gambir, from Messrs. Behn, Meyer & Co. 

Am AS'i8 7 h 7 ! rm '} Minutes of the Pharmaceutical Meeting. 


Mr. Alex. H. Jones presented, through Prof. Remington, from Messrs. Powers Sc 
Weightman, a fine collection of argols from various sections of Europe. 

Prof. Maisch read a paper by Mr. L. Wolff on " Unguentum hydrargyri nitratis " 
(see page 162). Dr. Pile said he had followed Mr. Rother's formula of making it 
with lard, first adding the excess of nitric acid and afterwards the nitrate of mercury,, 
and found it very successful. He also questioned whether oleic acid could be pro- 
cured at all times of sufficient purity. Prof. Remington thought the process of 
Rother all that can be desired, and the substitution of three-fourths lard oil for 
the lard a wise selection, his experience being similar to Dr. Pile's 5 but he thought 
that Mr. Wolff's views opened an interesting point in regard to the change in oleic 
acid and the ointment under consideration. 

Mr. C. Bullock spoke of the citrine ointment, as formerly prepared by John Bell 
of London, as being particularly noted for it$ fine appearance, and thought it due 
to the manipulation in beating it up well before and while it congealed. 

Dr. Pile requested the members to inform the Committee on Adulterations of the 
National Association of any sophistications that may come under their notice, and 
endeavor to accompany their communications by specimens. 

Prof. Remington said that Prof. Painter, the chairman of the committee referred 
to, expressed a wish that some of the members would take up for their investigation 
the amount of extractive matter left after the evaporation of some of the important 
officinal tinctures. Prof. Maisch did not see how any positive results could be 
obtained, since slight variations in the menstrua could influence the result aside 
from the differences naturally existing in the drugs. 

C. W. Hancock presented a sample of an ocher yellow color, purchased for oxide- 
of antimony, which, without resorting to chemical test, the general expression of the v 
members present declared it not to be, at least not pure enough for medicinal use. 

Mr. Bullock mentioned that their house had recently received from a house in. 
Baltimore a sample of nitrate of potassium, which by its appearance aroused his 
suspicion, and upon making an examination found about 25 per cent, of chloride of 
potassium. This salt can now be obtained at a low figure, it being one of the pro- 
ducts from the Stassfurt (Germany) mines. 

Dr. Miller exhibited a sample of so-called Egyptian saffron, which Prof. Maisch 
pronounced to be carthamus. He also alluded to an adulteration of saffron with 
carbonate of calcium, which is again practised, after it was exposed seven years ago> 
(see "Am. Jour. Phar.," 1870, p. 318 and 390). 

Dr. Pile thought the sale of genuine saffron to be on the increase, as compared 
with the sales a number of years ago. 

Prof. Maisch said that in 1871 he investigated the African saffron of the Amer- 
ican market, and found it to be carthamus, with the exception of one sample, which 
Mr. J. R. Jackson correctly referred to Lyperia crocea (see " Proc. Amer. Phar 
Assoc.," 1873, P- 487). 

Mr. Lowe exhibited samples of yellow wax, in 1 oz. cakes, prepared by placing 
rectangular tin frames upon plate-glass, pouring in some melted wax, and when this 
had hardened, enough more to produce a cake weighing about one ounce. 

Mr. Bullock, having examined some white wax, found the congealing point below 
that generally given ; and on inquiry being made from the consignees, it seems not 

192 Pharmaceutical Colleges and Associations. { Am AiXi877 a - rm * 

improbable that the fusing point may vary from 5 to io° F., being influenced by 
the latitude in which the wax was collected. He urged members to procure speci- 
mens of pure wax from different countries to settle this point. 

Mr. A. P. Brown presented samples of syrups, made in accordance with the sug- 
gestions of one of the students, by percolating the drug with simple syrup or with 
simple syrup and alcohol, in proportion of 15 fluidounces of the former to 1 of the 
latter. They all appeared to possess the virtues of the drugs, and presented a fine 
appearance j the preparing of 1 pint, in some cases, required 8 to 10 days. Prof. 
Remington said the only question that occurred to him, as to whether percolation 
with cold syrup would exhaust the active principles of the drug. Several members 
thought that the solvent power of the sugar would have that effect. 

Mr. Wright mentioned as having prepared syrup of orange peel by rubbing the 
fresh orange peel with sugar, and then percolating with sufficient water, as making 
a very fine syrup that will bear dilution with its own bulk of simple syrup. 

Mr. Wright exhibited a root which had been sold here as calumba. It occurred 
in longitudinal slices, resembling gentian, but of a much lighter and more yellow 
color. Prof. Maisch pronounced it to be the root of Frasera Walteri, the so-called 
American calumba. 

Prof. Maisch raised the question when measures were first introduced into 
pharmacy. He showed a number of old English works in which the signs ^ and fib 
were used for both liquids and solids 5 also, some stating that great uncertainty 
existed, and that they were then interpreted by some as meaning measures, by others 
weights only. He hoped the subject would be further investigated. 

Mr. Gerhard mentioned as having utilized the cans in which preserved fruits are 
sold, for ointments, etc., by melting off the top and then melting the bottom off 
others to form a top for the former ; a sample was presented. 

Mr. Wright said that he had been so using them, and found them superior to 
the glazed ware for ointments, which did not become rancid so readily. 

Dr. Pile mentioned that he had experimented with cloves, exhausting them with 
gasolin (3 qts.), and obtained (from quantity?) 4 ounces of oil of fine flavor and 
greenish color. 

Dr. Miller thought that the yield mentioned at the last meeting in regard to 
obtaining 3 lbs. essential oil from 25 lbs. of cubebs, must have been an error, and 
was going to convince himself again of the fact. Two samples of oil of ylang-ylang 
were exhibited by Dr. Miller ; there was a marked difference in the odor. 

C. W. Hancock, Registrar pro temp. 


Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. — The lectures of the fifty-sixth course 
closed on Wednesday, Feb. 28th, and the examination commenced March 1st, and 
lasted until Tuesday, March 6th. The written examinations were on the following 
subjects, one afternoon being allowed to each branch : 

Am Ap?i!, r i8 , 7 h 7 arm 1 Pharmaceutical Colleges and Associations. 193 


1. What is the proper chemical name for Borax? Give the sources from which 
it is derived, its composition and physical properties. 

2. How is Chlorine obtained ? Explain the process and give the formula for the 
reactions which take place. State its physical and chemical properties and what 
officinal metallic compounds free Chlorine is used to produce, with chemical formulas 
of the reactions. 

3. What are the proper chemical names for Calomel and Corrosive Sublimate ? 
Give and explain the mode of preparation of each. State the distinctive chemical 
and physical properties and the differences in their medicinal activity. 

4. What are the best antidotes for the Alkalies? The mode in which they act,, 
and state which can be usually most promptly obtained. 

5. What are the compounds formed in fermentation of the juices of fruits? State 
what is the substance from which they are derived and explain their formation. 

6. What are the antidotes for Arsenic ? State the form in which they are the 
most reliable. 

7. What is the action of pure water and air on Metallic Lead ? What impurs- 
ties generally exist in river water and prevent this action ? 

8. What is Alumen, U. S. P.? Give its mode of preparation, properties and 

9. What are the forms in which Sulphur is given internally as a medicine ? Give 
the mode of preparation of each. 

10. By what test may Nitric Acid be detected as an impurity in Oil of Vitriol ? 
Explain the changes which take place. 

11. What are the changes which take place in a solution of Ferrous Sulphate 
when exposed to the action of the air? 


1. Give the botanica'l characters of the natural order of Ranunculacece, and of its., 
two suborders. Name the officinal drugs obtained from each suborder. 

2. Which officinal foots are obtained trom plants of the natural order of Gentia- 
naceae? Give the names and habitat of the plants ; point out the physical differ- 
ences of the roots ; state how their solutions are affected by iron salts ; name the 
characteristic principles found in the roots, and widely diffused organic principles 
absent from them. What are their medicinal properties? 

3. Give the name, natural order and habitat of the plant yielding Jalap ; describe 
the part used in medicine, as to its physical properties and structure ; name the act- 
ive principle, its properties and chemical relations, and state how it may be distin- 
guished from other allied principles. 

4. Give the names and native countries of the lauraceous trees yielding officinal 
barks; describe the principal physical and structural characteristics and enumerate 
the medicinally important principles of these barks. 

5. How may the officinal narcotic leaves be distinguished from each other? 

6. Which plants of the Aurantiacex yield officinal drugs ? Describe the pericarps 
obtained from them, as to their physical properties, structure and characteristic 

7. Give the name, natural order and habitat of the plant yielding sabadilla seeds 
describe the physical properties and structure of the seeds and give the outlines of 
the process for obtaining their alkaloid. 

8. What is Lupulin? From what plant and from which part is it obtained ? 
Name its physical properties, structural characteristics, important constituents and 
medicinal properties. 

9. Give the name, natural order and habitat of the plant from which oil ofivin- 
tergreen is obtained. Describe the oil, its chemical constitution and the manner in 
which the usual adulterations may be detected. 

10. Give the name, class and native country of the muskdeer. Where is the musk 
:ac located, and what are the physical and structural characteristics of its genuine- 
ness ? How may adulterations of musk be detected? 

1 94 Pharmaceutical Colleges and Associations. { Am A&is 7 h 7 arm 


1. Two hundred and four grams of an officinal substance lose by immersion in 
"stronger Al<ohol" two thousand four hundred and fifty-one centigrams. What 
is the substance? Show the method of obtaining the answer. 

2. Name the units of Measure, Capacity and Weight in the Metrical System, 
and state briefly how they weie obtained. Give the approximate value of the fluid- 
ounce in cubic centimetres, of the Kilogram in avoirdupois weight, of the Litre in 
apothecaries' measure. 

3. Define the process and state the objects of sublimation. How does it differ 
from distillation ? Mention three well-known substances found in Pharmacy in a 
sublimed condition, and describe the appearance of each. 

4. Explain the theory of the vinous fermentation in grape juice, the name and 
chemical composition of the substance deposited in wine casks. How is its peculiar 
acid isolated ? 

5 Name the substances used in preparing Ether, Chloral hydrate and Glycerin. 
Give, briefly, their mode of preparation, with the characteristic properties of each. 

6. Give the strength and doses of all of the liquid Aconite preparations (officinal 
and otherwise) that you know of. What is the physical test for Aconite, and what 
is its active principle ? 

7 State the proportions and doses of the officinal liquid preparations of Opium. 

8 Name the ingredients used in the following preparations of the United States 
" Pharmacopoeia " : Confectio Opii, Extractum Ergotas Fluidum, Ferri et Quiniae 
Citras, lnfusum Rosas Composittim, Liquor Iodinii Compositus, Potassii Acetas, 
Pulvis Rhei Compositus, Spiritus Ammonias Aromaticus, Syrupus Rhei and Vinum 

9. Give the officinal process for preparing Veratria, the tests for it, and its 
principal use in medicine. 

10. Define the terms Alkaloid and Glucoside. To what class of chemical sub- 
stances does Tannic Acid belong? By what tests may it be recognized? What 
is the nature of the change that is apt to occur in Tinctures of drugs containing 
this substance ? 


3. In what combination is Mercury chiefly found in Nature? State its specific 
gravity, its freezing and boiling point in Fahrenheit and Centigrade degrees. What 
is the officinal name of Calomel? State how it is prepared and what impurity it is 
likely to contain. Name a test for mercuric and mercurous salts in solution. 

2. Name N. 2 0, NO, HN0 3 in the new nomenclature. Describe the physical pro- 
perties of each of these. State how they may be prepared, and give equations for 
each, showing the chemical changes by means of Symbols. 

3. Give the officinal name, locality and natural order of the plant yielding 
Seneka. State what part is used, and describe its appearance. Name two of its 
officinal preparations. Give the name and describe the properties of its active 

4. From what crude substance is Phosphorus obtained ? Give both processes of 
the U. S. " Pharmocopceia " for preparing Diluted Phosphoric Acid. What is the 
specific gravity and saturating power of the diluted Acid? Name an impurity 
usually contained in Glacial Phosphoric Acid. 

5. What is Ergot? Name two of its officinal preparations, and give their com- 
position and dose. What is the therapeutic effect of the drug? How should it be 
prepared for hypodomic injection? 

6 Give the formula for preparing Liquor Plumbi Subacetatis, stating color, 
taste and specific gravity. Wha> effect is produced by exposure to the atmos- 
phere? L>to what officinal preparations does it enter? 

7. What is the minimum alkaloidal percentage of the Red and Yellow Peruvian 
Barks reu)t nized by the U. S. " Phai macopoe;a " ? Give the officinal and botanical 
names. What four alkaloids do they contain naturally? How may Salicin and 

Am Airii"*i87 7 a . rm '} Pharmaceutical Colleges and Associations. 195 

Hydrochlorate of Cinchonia be detected when used either as substitutes or adulter- 
ants or the most important alkaloid in bark? 

8. How is Chloroform prepared, and how purified? What is its specific gravity ? 
Give a test for its purity, and its formula in Symbols. 

9. Are the following properly constructed prescriptions, therapeutically and 
Translate and explain them. 


pharmaceutically considered ? 

$ — Tincturae Ferri Chloridi 

Syrupi Simplicis, . 

Irifusi Cinchonae rubra?, 
Misce. — Fiat mistura de qua sumatur 
unc.ia quartis horis. 

f 3 ii- 


R — Acidi Nitromuriatici. 

Tincturas Humuli 

Tincturae Aurantii da, . f J i. 

Infusi Calumbae, . . ^ v. 

Misce. Fiat mistura Cochlearia duo 
magna ter in die. 

R— Olei Tiglii, . . . nxx 
Micae Panis quantum sufficit ut fiat 


Statim sumenda. 


For Dysentery. 
R — Pulveris Opii. 

Pulv. ipecacuanhas . da gr iii. 
Hydrargyri bichloridi gr. vi. 

Pulveris Acaciae 
Syrupi ana quantum sufficit. 
Misce. Fiat massa in pilulas tres 

Signetur: — One or more to be taken 
at bed-time. 

10. Write a prescription, using metric weights, for 16 pills, each containing about 
one grain of sulphate of quinia, ^ grain of extract ot nux vomica and 3 grains of 
extract of gentian. 

Is the following prescription correct, 
and how is it to be dispensed ? 
R — Atropiae, . . ". gr. ii. 
Aquas distillatas, . . t ^ i. 

Signa : — For the Eye. One drop to 
be applied at night. 

How is the following formula to be 
dispensed ? 
R — Plumbi Acetatis. 

Zinci Sulphatis, . . da Z 

Misce et divide in xxiv partes aequales. 

S — Use as directed. 


Criticise the following prescrip ion : 
R— Acid. Hydroc. dih 

Tinct. Card. Comp., da f 5 ss. 
Aquae Anisi, . . f 3 iii. 
M. S — Teaspoonful thrice daily. 
The following specimens were upon the table to be examined and named by the 
candidates, 15 minutes being allowed in each case: 

Chemistky. M\tekia Mkdica. Pharmacy. 

Potassii carbonas. Serpentaria, mixed with Gentianae pulvis. 

Potass, bitartras. Hydrastis. H ydrarg. Cum creta 

Sodii bicaroonas. Gossypii Radic cortex. Tinct. cardamomi cp. 

Sodii hyposulphis. Buchu. i.xttact Bu* hu fluid. 

Ammonii chioridum. Salvia. Syrup. Pruni Virg. 

Liquor caicis. Cannabis indica. Aqua Anisi 

Fvrri subcarbonas. Saminicus Aqua Creasoti. 

Plumbi oxidum Colocynihis. Liquor »mmonii acet. 

Acidum aceticum. Piper album. Acidum bcnzoicum 

Acidum oxalicum. Jgu tia. Cv.rat. Plumbi subacet. 

Guaiaci resina. 

A practical examination was held for the first time this year, the candidates being 

required to compound the following prescriptions and finish them, ready for 
delivery, within one hour: 

Examining Committee. 
Potassii bichromas. 
Sodii su phas 
Acidum citricum. 
Canella a ba. 
Aqua destillata. 
Mistura (Jlycyrrh. comp. 
Un.ucntum sulphuiis. 

196 Pharmaceutical Colleges and Associations. { Am j^ t \^T' 

B — Ext. Coloc. Comp. . . gr. xvi. 
Ext. Jalapae. 

Hydrarg. Chlor. Mit. . da gr xii. 
Pulv. Gambogiae, . . . gr. iii. 


Divide in twelve pills. 

R — Ol. Morrhuae, .... f^iii 
Pulv. Sacch. Alb. . . . . 3 ii, 
Pulv. Acaciae, 3 iv. 

Aqua? Fluvialis q. s. ad 
Make into an emulsion. 

B — Pulv. Gal let, .... gr. xx. 
Ext. Stramonii, gr. xxx. 

Adipis Purif. 5 ss. 

Make into an ointment. 

The following candidates having passed the examination successfully, were re- 
commended for the Degree of Graduate in Pharmacy (Ph.G.) The names are inu 
the order of merit, as ascertained from the examination: 



Olaf Martin, 

Coxey, Joseph Clarence, 
Kuhn, Norman Archibald, 
rosenwasser, nathan, 
Davis, Theodore Garrison, 

Bissell, Emery Gilbert, 
Martin, John Albert, 

Drueding, Charles Casper, 
Childs, Walter Foss, 
Drueding, Henry Gerhard, 

Beckert, Theodore Frederick, 
Wilson, Alexander, 
Brennecke, Robert, 
Gingrich, John Adams, 
Barr, Samuel Earnest, 

De Puy, Caspar Edward, 

Elfreth, Jacob R., 


Bowman, Charles Alexander, 

Koehler, Walter William, 
Schools, George William, 
Burroughs, Silas Mainevielle, 

McMullin, Andrew, 
Gates, Burt Pike, 
Crowl, Frank Mercer, 
Grahame, George Harris, 
Klopp, Eli Leinbach, 
Smith, Joseph Stahle, 
Parker, Frederick Henry, 
Llewellyn, William Henry, 
Fulton, Joseph Miller, 


Iowa, Extractum Colocynthidis Com- 

Pennsylvania, Jaborandi. 
Ohio, Set I la Ma r it i ma. 

Ohio, Colcbicum Seed and Colchicin. 

New Jersey, Chloral Hydrate <with Camphor 

and Resins. 
New York, Hops. 

Pennsylvania, The Rhizome of Dracontiutk 

Germany, Gossypium Radicis Cortex. 
Pennsylvania, Polygonum Persicaria. 
Germany, Assay of 2>uinia in Ferri et £lui~ 

nix Citras. 
Pennsylvania, Colchicum Root. 
Pennsylvania, Chemical Change. 
Wisconsin, Opium. 

Pennsylvania, Unguentum Hydrargyri Nitratis . 

Ohio, Estimation of Morphia in Pow- 

dered Opium. 

Iowa, The Seed of Delphinium Sta- 

ph isagria. 

Pennsylvania, Emulsion of Cod Liver Oil. 
Sweden, The Ammonium Theory. 

Tennessee, Examination of Commercial Co- 

Pennsylvania, Pulnjis et Unguentum ZinciOxidi. 
Pennsylvania, Capsicum. 

New York, Compression of Medicinal Pow- 

Pennsylvania, Unci Oxidum. 
New York, Assay of Morphia in Laudanum'. 
Pennsylvania, The Pharmacist. 
Pennsylvania, Cerates and Ointments. 
Pennsylvania, Potassii Iodidi. 
Pennsylvania, Tinctura Opii. 
New York, Extractum Conii. 
Pennsylvania, Laudanums of Commerce. 
Pennsylvania, Copaiba. 


■' Am 4^\8^ rm '} Pharmaceutical Colleges and Associations. 



Zinn, Oscar, Wisconsin, 

Ryerson, Henry Ogden, New Jersey, 

Smith, Joseph Granville, Kentucky, 

Dembinski, Louis, Pennsylvania, 

Wisher, Henry, Pennsylvania, 

Moore, Richard Jesse, Ohio, 

Roe, Thomas Coombe, Delaware, 

Latham, Daniel Henry, Jr., Pennsylvania, 

Drancourt, Samuel, France, 

iLamhofer, Edward, Nebraska, 
Busch, William Charles Asmus, Iowa, 

'Funk, Christian Lawson, Maryland, 

-Griffin, Louis Franklin, Texas, 

Strobel, John, Jr., 
McKeehan, George Henry, 
Ball, William Amos, 
.Zacharias, Isidore, 

Myers, Edwin, 
Un angst, Eugene Peter, 
Woolston, Wm. Norton Shinn, 
•Gerling, John Miller, 
Ewing, George Washington, 
JBoyer, Edward Dayton, 
Weiss, Louis, 

Walker, Henry Crawford, 
Lustig, Emil, 
Kinports, John Henry, 
Afpenzeller, Gustave Adolph, 
Wright, G. Shoemaker Roberts, 

Evans, Estell, 
Harris, William, 
Lyneman, Felix Anthony, 
Ross, Davjd William, 
Kramer, Howard Samuel, 
Scheehle, George Phillip, 

Levering, George Washington, 
Lewis, William Thompson, 
McMullin, Albert, 
Martin, George, Jr., 
Maulick, William Frederick, 
Davidson, Abraham, 
Landschutz, Peter, 
Christman, Harry Warren, 
-Goess, George Conrad, Jr., 
Trupp, Louis, 

Phillips, Jacob Franklin, 


.New Jersey, 















West Virginia, 


New Jersey, 











The Amount of Quinia in Citrate 

of Iron and Quinia. 
Ergot a. 

Hydrargyri Chloridum Corro- 

Cantharidin from Doryphora 

A Test for the Adulterations of 

Oleum Theobroma. 
Salicylic Acid. 
Dispensing Prescriptions. 
Aqua Cinna?nomi. 

Oleum Theobroina. 

Resina Podophylli. 

Home-made Chemicals. 

The Preparations of Piper Cu- 

Chemical Affinity. 
Alcohol and its Derivatives. 

The Manufacture of Spirits Tur- 

pentine y Rosin and Tar. 

The Relative Strength of Pepsin. 
Erythroxylon Coca. 
Our Centennial Exhibits. 
Acorus Calamus. 
Excipients for Pills. 
A Drug Store in the Far West. 

Caloric in Changes of Aggregation. 
Humulus Lupulus. 
Extract. GlycyrrhizaDepuratum . 

The Tincture and Ammoniated 

Tincture oj Guaiac. 

Tinctura Capsici. 
Garrya Fremonti. 

Extract of Hyoscyamus as found 

in the Shops. 
Chloral Hydrate. 
Protochloride of Iron. 
Compressed Camphor. 
Potassium Hypophosphites. 
The Vicissitudes of the Graduate. 
Radix Valerianae. 
Resina Jalapa. 
Prinos Verticillatus. 
Elegant Pharmacy. 
Fluid Extract of Prunus Vir- 

Nitrous Oxide. 

198 Pharmaceutical Colleges and Associations. { Am ApS?, r 'i8^7. aim 


Dickeson, William Eunice, Pennsylvania, Lignin and Cellulose. 

Schwartz, Arthur, Russia, Water. 

Smith, Albert Henry, Pennsylvania, The Indigenous Plants. 

Stevenson, Richard Graham, New Jersey, Production of Coloring Matter 

from Coal and its Products.. 
Moore, Frank, Maryland, Althaea Officinalis. 

Byerly, Charles Henry, Pennsylvania, The Action of Mild Chloride of 

Mercury on Comp. Tincture of 


Cloud, Harlan, Pennsylvania, Duty and Responsibility of a 


Terrill, George Morton, Virginia, Forms in which Medicines are. 


Examined in June, 1876. 

Harris, Park, Pennsylvania, Opium. 

Lins, Frank Pierce, Pennsylvania, Jaborandi. 

The following gentlemen had passed the examination entitling them to the Cer- 
tificate of Proficiency in Chemistry and Materia Medica : 

Lehman, John Wesley, Pennsylvania, The Use of Glycerin in Fluid Ex- 


Witsil George Edward, Pennsylvania, Honey and Glucose. 

The commencement exercises were held on the evening of March 16 at die 
Academy of Music, the first Vice-President, Charles Bullock, conferring the 
degrees, in the absence of the President. The senior professor presented the 
Procter prize to Olaf Martin Oleson, for having passed a very satisfactory examina- 
tion in each branch, and the best general examination, as well as presented \ 
meritorious thesis. Professor Remington then read the names of the first course 
students who had successfully passed the junior examination in February, and 
Professor Bridges delivered the valedictory address, after the close of which Mr. 
E. F. Boyer, of the graduating class, on behalf of himself and fellow-students, 
presented to him a valuable gold watch and a handsome album, containing the 
photographs of all the members of this class. Prof Bridges, who had been 
completely taken by surprise, responded in a happy manner, referring to the growth 
of the college since the time when, nearly a half century ago, he became the 
assistant of the late Prof. Bache, then holding the chair of chemistry, and whom 
he followed in the year 1842. 

The distribution of the usual quota of flowers, and other substantial presents,, 
closed the exercises, which were interspersed with music by the Germania Orchestra. 

Alumni Association of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. — The Thirteenth 
Annual Meeting was held on the afternoon of March 15, the President, 
George W. Kennedy occupied the chair 5 Mr. Wallace Procter, Secretary. 

After the reading and approval of the minutes, the annual report of the President 
was read. It stated that in reviewing the past year they have every reason to be 
encouraged. The scientific meetings, during the winter months, for the benefit of 
the students, were well attended and had been interesting and profitable. During-. 

A \l°ii,\In! cm '} Pharmaceutical Colleges and Associations. 199 

the year a number of their associates were removed by death. The laboratory has 
been well patronized, all the tables having been occupied. 
The Treasurer reported a balance of #71.77. 

The Committee on Nomination of Officers presented the following report, and, 
on motion, the Secretary cast the vote of the Associotion for the names therein 
contained : President, R. V. Mattison 5 Vice-Presidents, S. M. McCollin, H. E. 
Wendel ; Treasurer, E. C. Jones; Recording Secretary, Wallace Procter; Corres- 
ponding Secretary, W. W. Moorhead ; Executive Committee, G. W. Kennedy 
and H. Trimble; Trustee of Sinking Fund, T. S. Wiegand. 

The meeting then adjourned. 

In the evening a public reception was given to the graduating class and their lady 
friends at College Hall. The Alumni address was delivered by Thomas S. 
Wiegand, Ph.G., and the following Alumni prizes were distributed : 

A gold medal, for the highest average at the recent examination, to Olaf Martin 
Oleson, Iowa, and Certificates to Joseph Clarence Coxey, of Pennsylvania, for 
proficiency in Chemistry; Walter F. Childs, Pennsylvania, for Materia Medica ; 
Norman A. Kuhn, Ohio, for Pharmacy, and to Richard Jesse Moore, Ohio, for 
proficiency in Pharmaceutical Manipulation. 

A certificate for the highest average in the junior examination was awarded to 
David Patrick Miller, of Virginia. 

The thirteenth annual report of this association will soon be published ; copies of 
it will be mailed on application to the Recording Secretary. 

New York College of Pharmacy. —The forty-seventh commencement was held 
at Chickering Hall, March 20, when the degree of Graduate in Pharmacy was con- 
ferred upon the following candidates : 

Avery, Abbott L , New Jersey, Salicin and Salicylic Acid. 

Benham, Edward N., New Jersey, Sulphur, Sulphurets, and Sulphuric and Sulphur- 
ous Acids. 

Boeddiker, Otto, New York, Picrotoxin. 
Boyken, J. Anton, New York, Citric Acid. 
Bradley, Simeon C, New York, Ergota. 

Breitenbach, Max J., Georgia, Gossypium Herbaceum and Products. 
Broquet, Edward, Iowa, Opium. 

Colby, Willis D., Ohio, Modern Methods of Concealing the Taste and Odor of Medi- 

Corwin, Fred. M., New York, The Action of Certain Processes and Officinal Prepara- 
tions on Calomel. 
Doepfner, Eugene, New York, Guarana. 
Duteil, Victor, Province of Quebec, Nicotiana Tabacum. 
Egge, Karl J., New York, Iodide of Potassium. 
Fries, Peter, New York, Pharmaceutical Zoology. 
Frost, William A , New Brunswick, Carbolic Acid. 
Garrison, Frank, New Jersey, Arsenic and its Officinal Preparations. 
(jetty, Wilmot S., North Carolina, Phosphorus and Acidum Phosphoricum Dilutum. 
Goetze, Julius, New York, Combustion and Flame. 
Hebig, William, New York, Emplastrum Plumbi. 

Heidt, Thomas P., Georgia, Classification of the Articles embraced in a Course of Lec- 
tures on Materia Medica. 

-200 Pharmaceutical Colleges and Associations. { Km '^',r%^ m ' 

Henry, Ferris W., New York, Iron and its Officinal Preparations, 
Herdling, Victor, New York, The Gum Resins. 

Howe, Charles L., Vermont, Weight, Measure and Specific Gravity. 
Hund, Otto H., New York, Volatile Oils. 

Hunt, Effingham L., New Jersey, Copper and Some of its Salts. 
/Her, Robert L., Louisiana, The Reactions of Uric Acid. 
Kingston, Robert J., New York, Opium. 

Klippert, Chas. F., New York, The Origin of Caoutchouc and its Uses. 
Kopf, Henry, New York, Boron, Boracic Acid and their Compounds. 
.Lawler, Charles J., New York, The Isolation of the Blue Coloring Constituent of 

Leister, Ernest F., New York, Saponification and Soap. 
Levy, Adolph, New York, Copper and its Preparations. 
Montanus, Ernest, Jr., North Carolina, Zinc and its Officinal Preparations. 
Neubauer, William G, New York, Balsamum Tolutanum, History, Impurities, 

Nowill, F. Herbert, New York, Cream of Tartar. 

Parker, John H., Connecticut, Honey. 

Pauly, Christian N , New Jersey, Careful Dispensing. 

Rieger, Hugo, New York, The New Theory of Chemistry. 

Rose, J. Thurston, New Jerse)', Coffee. 

Routh, Jason P., Province of Quebec, Berberina. 

Schmid, Henry, New York, Arsenic. 

Schoelles, William, New York, Sulphuric Acid, its Preparation, Properties and Uses, 
Tests, etc., etc. 

Schoenchen, George T., New York, Ipecacuanha and its Preparations. 

Schoenereld, Conrad, New York, Nitrite of Amy I. 

Schrader, Hermann, Pennsylvania, Phosphorus. 

Speck, Oscar O., New York, Iodine. 

Stahl, Edward A., Jr., New Jersey, Atropa Belladonna. 

Stegmair, Julius A., New York, Salicylic Acid and the Salicylates. 

Teschner, Jacob, New York, Iron and its Preparations. 

Van der Emde, Henry, New York, Zinc and its Medicinal Preparations. 

Van Duzer, William A , New York, What is the Most Precious and Valuable Metal? 

Wells, Francis B., Massachusetts, The Preparation of Chemically Pure Urea. 

Winkelmann, John G , New York, Sulphur. 

Zoeller, Edward V., North Carolina, The Volumetric Method of Atropia. 

The gold, silver and bronze medals of the Alumni Association were awarded 
respectively to F. B. Wells, E. Montanus, Jr., and E. V. Zoeller. The graduating 
class presented to the College the photograph, in crayon, of Professor Bedford, 
who delivered the valedictory add i ess on behalf of the faculty, M. Breitenbach 

-responding for the graduating class. 

Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain — At the Pharmaceutical meeting 
field February 7th, President John Williams in the chair, numerous donations to 
(the library and museum were m ule ; among the latter was a sample of aconite root, 
from Japan, which recently appeared in the London market and is now being 
investigated with the view of ascertaining whether it contains the same aconitia as 
Aconitum napellus, in which case it would form a valuable and salable article. It 
is very superior in appearance, soundness and freedom from admixture to that 
imported from Germany. 

Mr. Postans remarked that sublimed chrysophanic acid had a very different appear- 

Am A J P C rii r , "1877 rm ' } Pharmaceutical Colleges and Associations. 201 

ance to that prepared by crystallization from benzol. Professor Attfield said that 
during sublimation a portion of the acid was usually decomposed, the amount 
depending on the quantity operated upon and upon the length of time during which 
it had to be exposed to a high temperature. He did not think that there was any 
alteration in the sublimed portion. 

Professor Bentley read a paper on the admixture of white hellebore with valerian 
root, and pointed out the principal differences which are readily observed. These 
are: i. The leaves of the conical bud of veratrum or their fibrous remains form 
concentric sheaths arranged one within the other, while the leaves found at the end 
•of the creeping shoots of valerian are opposite and overlap at the base ; but such 
stolons are rarely if ever present in commercial valerian. 2. The white hellebore 
rhizomes are much larger, of a darker color and marked below with the pits and 
scars of old roots. 3. A transverse section of white hellebore rhizome presents a 
large central woody or spongy portion, of a whitish or pale-buff color, which is 
separated by a fine wavy-crenate ring from an outer broad white part, which is 
coated by a thin dark-brown or blackish bark-like portion. Commercial valerian 
shows a dark-brown firm and horny central portion, separated by a dark interrupted 
cambial zone from the brown cortical part. A vertical section of veratrum rhizome 
presents a fine dark wavy conically arranged line running nearly throughout its 
entire length. 4. The roots of veratrum arise from the upper part of the rhizome 
only, are larger, more shrivelled and of a paler color than those of the valerian 
rhizome. 5. The taste of veratrum rhizome and roots is at first sweet, then bitter, 
acrid and somewhat numbing. Valerian has no acridity, but is aromatic and some- 
what bitter. 6. After admixture with valerian, veratrum acquires a feeble odor of 
the former; when cut or bruised, it excites sneezing. 7. Strong sulphuric acid, 
applied to a transverse or vertical section of the two rhizomes, produces with veratrum 
a deep orange- yellowish-red color, soon changing to dark blood-red, while the 
natural color of valerian is simply heightened. 

From 42 ounces of the article the author picked out 8 ounces of white veratrum. 
The admixture was afterwards stated to have occurred at the docks by the breaking 
of two bales and the careless gathering of the scattered contents. But the author 
rather inclines to attribute it to carelessness in collection, and urges the necessity of 
an examination by a competent person, appointed for that purpose, of imported 
drugs, more especially when these are plants or parts of plants ; also the necessity 
of carefully examining the drugs in our home stores and pharmacies. 

In the discussion which followed the reading of the paper, it was stated that drugs 
which came from the continent, especially from Germany, contained a larger pro- 
portion of admixture than any others ; also that at the present day American 
valerian root fetched a higher price than any other. The importance of micro- 
scopical examination was likewise dwelt upon. 

Mr. H. Senier read a paper on the coloring matter of the petals of Rosa Gallica. 
Quercitrin and fat was first removed by ether, the coloring matter exhausted by alco- 
hol, precipitated in a green, amorphous state by acetate of lead, and the precipitate 
decomposed either by sulphuretted hydrogen or an insufficiency of sulphuric acid. 
Well-defined microscopic crystals were obtained on combining the coloring matter 
wtith alkalies, the ammonio-potassium salt crystallizing in octahedra. Alkalie> 

202 Pharmaceutical Colleges and Associations. { A \l° r n%^ m ' 

change the color to a deep red with a bright green fluorescence, and when added in 
excess, to yellow 5 chlorine changes the color to yellow ; sulphuretted hydrogen, to 
brown; stannic chloride, to a beautiful dark magenta ; boiling with metallic mer- 
cury, to dark violet or purple. The hydrates of barium and of calcium yield yel- 
lowish-green precipitates, changing to brown on drying. The lead precipitate has 
a composition corresponding to the formula Pb 2 C 21 H 29 O 30 . 

Mr. W. A. Shenstone read a paper on the action of dilute nitric acid on brucia, 
referring to the observations of Sonnenschein ("Amer. Jour. Phar.," 1875, P« 345) 
and Cownley [ibid., 1876, p. 354), and confirming the results of the latter, that 
thereby brucia is not converted into strychnia ; on the contrary, the latter is 
destroyed by the action of the nitric acid, the more rapidly the stronger the acid 
has been. The finding of strychnia is attributed to the presence in commercial 
brucia of some strychnia, the author separating from one sample rather more than 1 
per cent. For the complete separation the author recommends a process which 
depends upon the fact that strychnia precipitates brucia from its salts ; the solution 
of the brucia salt is partially precipitated by an alkali ; after standing aside for a few 
hours the precipitate is collected, washed, redissolved in dilute acid, and the partial 
precipitation repeated two or three times 5 the alkaloid in the mother-liquor may be 

Mr. B. H. Paul read a paper on the "Pharmacopoeia " test of quinia sulphate^ which 
requires the absence of any separation of alkaloid crystals on the addition of ammo- 
nia to 10 grains of quinia sulphate and half a fluidounce of ether. The author 
found the presence of 30 per cent of cinchonidia sulphate could not be detected in 
this way, and recommends Kernels test for this purpose ("Amer. Jour. Phar,, ,T 
1862, p. 426; 1875, p. 537). The German " Pharmacopoeia," in which the test 
has been adopted, recommends to macerate two grams of the salt in 20 cc. of dis- 
tilled water, at 15 C , filtering after half an hour, introducing 5 cc. of the filtrate 
into a test-tube, pouring cautiously upon the liquid 7 cc. of officinal ammonia water 
(sp. gr "960), and then mixing gently, when immediately, or after a short time, a 
clear liquid should be formed. The author recommends a modification of these 
directions by boiling 30 grains of the salt with i^V fluidounces of water, allowing to 
cool, filtering, etc. 

Pharmaceutical Society of Paris. —At the meeting held Nov. 8th, a note by Mr, 
Bretet was read, concerning the adulteration of -ivines with sulphate of iron. From 
his observations the author concludes, 1st, that the addition of sulphate of iron to 
wine deprives that liquid of a portion of its tannin, tannate of iron being precipi- 
tated while the sulphuric acid remains in the wine, either free or as an acid salt; 2d, 
the nature of the wine is thereby completely altered ; 3d, to prove the fraud, it is 
not sufficient to test the suspected wine with ferrocyanide of potassium, but it should 
be compared with a wine of undoubted origin, and, if possible, some of the deposit 
in the cask should be procured, in which a large proportion of iron will be found. 

The presentation by Mr. Latour of a deposit from the staves of a cask in which 
wine colored with fuchsin had been kept, led to some discussion, and to the appoint- 
ment of a committee to report on the artificial coloration of wine with fuchsin. 

Am. Jour. Pharro. ") 
April, 1877. / 



Mr. Yvon exhibited a portable uroscope, consisting of a metallic tube containing 
the necessary test-tube-;, litmus paper, globules of caustic potassa and a little micro- 
scope, to determine the reaction of the urine, the presence of albumen (by heat) and 
sugar (by potassa), and to examine with the lens any urinary sediment, etc. 

At the meeting held Dec. 8th, the bequest of the late Mr. Gobley, amounting to 
3,000 francs, was paid in. Mr. Mehu was elected Vice-President, and Mr. Petit., 
Secretary, for the ensuing year. Mr. Poggiale communicated a paper recently pub- 
lished by Prof. Kolbe, of Leipzig, in which he takes strong ground against the ten- 
dency of chemistry as at present taught in Germany, which he characterizes as neg- 
lecting the profound study of phenomena by exact experimental researches, and sub- 
stituting -in place thereof vague philosophical speculations and unproductive theo - 
rems, and predicts that, unless the course be changed, some years hence it would 
aga/n become necessary for German students in chemistry to repair to Paris, because 
natural philosophy rather than chemistry would then be taught in Germany. On the 
contrary, in France, many young chemists have in recent years been educated, who,, 
with the older ones — with few exceptions — remain true to the exact sciences, and 
produce numerous memoirs based upon inter sting researches. 

At the meeting of Jan. 8th, Mr. Planchon exhibited a Chinese bark called hoang 
naUy which is said to be used in hydrophobia and leprosy ; its physical resemblance 
to false angustura bark (Strychnos nux vomica), and its bitter taste suggests that it 
may probably be derived from a strychnaceous plant. 

Mr. Benoit, in a note on the testing of chlorate of potassium, proposes the use of & 
ferrous salt for this purpose, which in the presence of strong hydrochloric acid wilt 
be converted into a ferric compound. 

Mr. Limousin read a note on Croton oil pencils, which he prepares by melting one 
part each of white wax and cacao butter, by means of a water-bath, in a glass flask, 
adding two parts of croton oil, and corking the flask until the mixture begins to 
congeal, when it is poured into suitable cylindrical moulds, 8 to 9 millimeters in 
diameter. The pencils are covered with tinfoil and kept in closed vessels. It is 
claimed for the pencils that the action of the oil can be better localized, and that it*, 
revulsive action is even more energetic than when applied in its natural state. 


The Journal. — Through the kindness of our friends for some months past, an. 
amount of original matter had been contributed for publication in the Journal, 
that much of the selected matter had to be laid aside. For the present issue it 
was determined to use at least a portion of the material which has been accumula- 
ting on our table, and to accomplish this, it became necessary to increase this num- 
ber to 64 pages. Amongst the original matter contributed to this issue will be 
found accounts of plants and their constituents which are successfully used in medi - 
cine, or promise to become valuable medicinal agents, or have been employed more 
extensively heretofore. Several papers on pharmacopceial preparations and on general 

2C 4 


f Am Jour. Pharm. 
1 April, 1877. 

topics will be read with profit and interest, and the gleanings and selections from 
'foreign and domestic journals cover a wide range of observation and research. 

Fluid Weights in Prescriptions.— Mr. Alfred B. Taylor, has written, under 
"this title, a very valuable paper, which is published in the " Medicai and Surgical 
Reporter," Feb. 24. A point which has been often overlooked, is discussed by 
■.noting " that whether the ultimate system of conversion comprise the substitution of 
weights for volumes, or of one order of weights for another order, no necessity 
•exists (excepting for purposes of rigid comparison) for preserving exact translations 
cr precise equivalents of proportion. It is quite sufficient that good approximations 
to established values be attained. Physiologically and therapeutically there can be 
no very accurate determination of the mathematical value of an average effective 
dose of any agent ; and no reason can be assigned for regarding one grain of opium 
(for example) as a medium sedative dose, rather than \} of a grain, except its con- 
venience, by our existing notation. This consideration is calculated to prevent a 
large amount of superfluous labor and anxiety likely to be bestowed by some on 
very minute determinations of metrical equivalents. " 

It may be most convenient for physicians who are accustomed to prescribe by 
measure to follow the suggestion of Mr. Taylor, by prescribing all medicinally 
active preparations by weight, and ordering the addition of an adjuvant to a deter- 
minate fluid volume. In former papers we have shown that in most countries it is 
the universal custom to prescribe and dispense by weight only, and we do not believe 
that there the patients had just cause for complaint about inaccuracies. In reality, 
the trouble of fixing the dose of mixtures is by no means as great as is often imag- 
ined, as we endeavored to show before ; still as a compromise for those who cannot 
altogether abandon old. habits, the plan is a good one, but we should like to see it 
coupled with the efforts of educating the medical student and young practitioner into 
the habit of abandoning measures altogether in his prescriptions, as was formerly 
also the practice in Great Britain. 

The suggestion of Mr. Taylor to abandon in medicine the term cubic centimeter 
"for flui-gram would prove of considerable convenience if measures were perpetuated 
an prescribing and dispensing, which, we think, will not be the case. Regarding the 
approximate measurement of doses, Mr. Taylor suggests the following; 

In order, however, to remedy the very irregularity which now exists from the uncertain capacity of 
the common teaspoon, it would be very desirable that a medicinal spoon of uniform and standard capacity 
should be authoritatively and generally adopted. Were the " Metric " weights established, spoons accu- 
rately made to hold exactly four flui-grams might very properly be called " metri-spoons," and would 
prove a great convenience both to the physician and to his patient. They should be manufactured both 
in glass and metal ; and for facility of movement without spilling, as well as for greater accuracy in fill- 
's ng, the bowls of such medicinal spoons should be deeper and more spheroidal than those in common use . 

For larger dcses than the teaspoonful but a single additional measure would be required to complete 
the dome.-tic equipment, a substitute for. the very uncertain two-ounce "wine-glass." A glass vessel 
somewhat of the form of the apothecaries' two-ounce graduate, accurately marked to show the capacity 
of 17.314 fluid drachms, might be called a " metri-glass." Its capacity would be in excess of the double 
fluid ounce by f 5i% ; and if graduated to eighths, its lowest division would represent the double " metri- 
s poon." This useful vessel, would, therefore, comprise the equivalents of the double teaspoon or dessert- 
spoon, the tablespoon, the double tablespoon, and the wine-glass. 

These two terms, " metri-spoon," and " metri-glass," would, from the nature of the case, soomcomc 
Jo signify the abstract measure, as well as the concrete implement; rendering the use of the suffix " ful " 

Am. Jour. Pharm. ) 
April, 1877. j 


Superfluous. The direction, "a metri-spoon three times a day,'' would thus naturally supersede the ex - 
pression, "a metri-spoonful." Were the gram and centigram authoritively adopted, the employ 
ment of these weights (after having been translated by suitable tables) would be found to be much less, 
troublesome than might be supposed. With a little practice, the use would, of course, soon become as 
convenient as that of our own weights at present. 

The tenor of Mr. Taylor's paper is well shown in his concluding remarks, where 
he says: 

To recapitulate— the purpose attempted in this paper has been to point out, first, that fluid medicines 
may be as easily prescribed and dispensed by weights as by volumes, after a proper tabulation of effec- 
tive and maximum doses of the entire materia medica in units of weight ; secondly, that mixtures so pre- 
pared may be administered with perfect facdity by familiar measures of volume ; thirdly, that intheevent. 
of the officinal adoption of the " metric " gram, its notation can be made exceedingly simple and conve- 
nient ; fourthly, that in this case, while no serious disadvantage would result from the retention of the 
familiar fluid drachm, or teaspoonful, yet, for the sake of greater precision and neatness, the '■ flui-gram " 
(the French millilitre) should be the popular unit of volume for the actual administration of fluid medi- 
cines ; and lastly, that, for the sake of certainty and uniformity, the " teaspoon should be replaced 
by a standard medicinal spoon, holding just four " flui-grams," and the ordinary, but variable, "wine- 
glass" should, in like manner, be superseded by a " metri-glass " having the capacity of sixteen such- 
standard medicinal spoons. 

These suggested reforms would none of them be found to be very difficult of introduction, and they 
wouid result in the advantage to the profession of a great permanent convenience, facility and trustwor- 
thiness in the employment and exhibition of therapeutic agents. 

Responsibility of Pharmacists in Cases of Criminal Poisoning A case was 

tried in the Court of Oyer and Terminer, in this city, on March 19th, which is of 
considerable interest and general importance. It appears that on November 13th, 
Wm. H. Driscall purchased four ounces of tincture of opium at a well-known 
drug store, and on arriving home, in the presence of his mother and sister, swallowed 
about three ounces of it in two draughts j he vomited some, and although medical 
aid was soon after obtained, he died in about seven hours. I he assistant who sold 
the laudanum was tried under the charge of manslaughter. 

It was testified by two relatives and two neighbors that the deceased was drunk 
before the purchase ; he had been seen in the street somewhat staggering and had 
been dozy at home. On the other hand a witness for the prosecution testified that 
at the store he had the appearance of a sober and respectable man, and conversed, 
rationally about the election and the weather. It was also proven that when asked 
why he wanted so large a quantity, he said it was for family use, and he did not 
want to be running out after it every day ; that the deceased had been a customer at 
the store before, and that the clerk, because it was said to be for family use, and to 
guard against mistakes by the family, had put a prominent poison label upon the 
bottle in addition to the regular label, which, besides the name of the article was 
marked " poison " and had full directions for use. 

The case was submitted without argument upon the charge of the Court, judge 
Peirce charged the jury that it was averred on the part of the Commonwealth and 
conceded by the defence that if the defendant knew that deceased was drunk or 
intoxicated when he sold him the drug, defendant would be liable, under this indict- 
ment, to conviction. He agreed therewith, and it was for the jury to determine 
whether the defendant had such a knowledge ; but if they were satisfied defendant 
only sold the drug to deceased after a conversation with him and a careful inquiry 

2o6 Editorial. { Am ^™\l%! m - 

as to the use to be made of the drug, and his sobriety, and that defendant was s 
Isfied that he was sober, and it was right and proper that he should have the dn 
then defendant had committed no offence, and the verdict should be not guilty. 
After a few minutes'' deliberation, the jury returned a verdict of " not guilty.'" 

Substitutions.— The formula for an effervescent laxative draught, furnished by Mr. 
Jos Rhinehart, for the March number, is there stated to yield a cheaper, equally 
efficient, quite pleasant and more expediously made preparation than citrate of mag- 
nesium, and as such, deserves the attention of physicians and pharmacists, to be 
prescribed by the former for poor patients, or furnished by the latter when a pleasant 
dose of " epsom salt" is desired, particularly since it may be prepared in a minute 
or two. No one, however, should find in it a recommendation to put up such an 
article, label it " citrate of magnesium," and sell it as such 5 such a course would be 
outright fraud. 

We are prompted to these remarks by having received two communications, re- 
commending to prepare citrate of magnesium, by lessening the officinal quantity of 
citric acid and making up the deficiency in activity by the addition of more or less 
magnesium sulphate. We have reason to believe that such a reprehensible practice 
exists to some extent ; in extenuation, it may, perhaps, be said, that such private 
formulas date back to the time before the present '* Pharmacopoeia" was published, 
when the then officinal formula did not yield a permanent preparation. But since we 
have an officinal formula yielding a preparation which leaves little or nothing 
to desire, there can be but one of two motives found for persisting in such a course, 
either the desire for greater gain, or the wish to undersell a conscientious neighbor. 

If such a preparation was sold, not under the officinal name, but designated so as 
to indicate its composition, no fault could be found. But the worst feature of the 
practice is that it is " home adulteration," and if allowable in apparently unimport- 
ant matters, where is its limit ? The pharmacist guilty of it creates at least a suspi- 
cion as to his honesty in other important matters. 

The Pharmaceutical Examining Board has made the following report for the 
year 1876; 

To the Hon. William S. Stokley, Mayor of Philadelphia : 

The " Pharmaceutical Examining Board" respectfully report that during the year 1876 they re- 
ceived applications from forty elerks for examination and registration as " qualified assistants." Of this 
number twenty-three were rejected as not posessing the requisite knowledge and qualifications to take 
charge of a retail drugstore during the temporary absence of the proprietor. Seventeen were deemed 
safe for the position, and were registered accordingly, and received their certificates, making them 
legally '* qualified assistants." 

Eleven applicaiions for examination were made by persons wishing to open stores as proprietors 
thereof, four of whom did not appear when notified to do so. Of the seven examined, four were found so 
deficient in the knowledge of chemistry, materia medica, pharmacy, and doses of active remedies, that 
the Hoard was unwilling to assume the responsibility of granting them certificates. Three persons 
passed the examination satisfactorily and were registered as " Proprietors." 

During the year ten graduates of Pharmacy enteiing into business were registered according to law 
without examination by the Board. The total number on the register on December 31st, 1876, was five 
hundred and ninety proprietors, and three hundred and twenty-five (325) qualified assistants. 

It is believed that many retail drug stores have been opened in the city by persons who evade the law 
requiring them to be registered, the one where a fatal mistake 1 occurred recently being a melancholy 

l 'this case was reported in our last number, page 141. — Editor Am. Jour. Phar, 

Am, Jour. Pharm 1 
April, 1877. / 



instance. The Examining Board is powerless to prevent such violation, but if your Honor will allow your 
patrolmen to return the names of the owners of all stores opened upon their beats, with their locations, 
you will render important assistance in carrying out the law, which was passed for the protection of the 
lives of the citizens, and in accordance with which we hold our appointments by you. 

It appears from this that nearly sixty per cent, of the applications from both clerks 
and intended proprietors had to be rejected as unqualified. The Mayor has acted in 
accordance with the suggestion of the Examining Board, and a number of stores 
were found, the proprietors of which had omitted to become registered. From the 
above figures the number of apothecary stores in the city of Philadelphia cannot 
fall much short of 550, which, for a population of 850,000, averages 1 for every 
1,600 inhabitants. 

Prices of Pills.— In Mr. Moore's paper on pills, in our last number (page 123), 
a few quotations from the price list of a manufacturer of compressed pills have been 
given. One of the manufacturing houses of this kind of pills has sent us a printed 
price list, showing that their list prices are considerably below those referred to 
above. They quote compound cathartic pills, 40 cts. ; 1 gr. quinia sulphate, $1.25 ; 
Lady Webster's, 40 cts., and compound rhubarb pills at 70 cents per hundred. 

Pharmacy Law of New Jersey — The Legislature of New Jersey, at its recent 
session, passed " an act to. regulate the practice of pharmacy,'" which is now await- 
ing the signature of the Governor. It provides that the New Jersey Pharmaceutical 
Association shall every three years submit to the Governor the names of 15 pharma- 
cists doing business in the State, out of which number he is to appoint five as the 
Board of Pharmacy of the State of New Jersey. Every pharmacist now engaged 
in business in the State is entitled to registration on payment of two dollars ; all 
others, except graduates from pharmaceutical and medical institutions, will have to 
pass an examination before the Board, and will then be entitled to registration on 
payment of five dollars. The exception alluded to is so ambiguously worded, that 
the graduates referred to do not appear to come under any of the provisions of the 

It is curious to note the fact that eight or nine years ago a pharmacy law was 
prepared by a physician, then a member of the Legislature of New Jersey, which 
contained the provision that no graduate in medicine should be permitted to enter 
into the pharmaceutical business until after he should have been activel) engaged 
behind the prescription counter for at least one year. He was evidently aware of 
what many physicians are too shortsighted to acknowledge, that there is a vast 
difference between the knowledge of the therapeutical application of drugs and a 
thorough pharmaceutical training or education. What a difference between that 
proposition and the provision in this law ! The law is good in that it creates the 
title of " registered pharmacist, 11 the unlawful use of which is liable to a penalty of 
$50. It has several weak points, and the machinery necessary to cany it out 
appears to be rather awkward, but may perhaps work more smoothly in practice. 
On the whole, however, we congratulate our brethren in New Jersey at their success 
after the years of labor, which really deserved to be rewarded with one of the best 
laws yet enacted. 


Reviews, etc. 

J Am. Jour. Phami , 
\ April, 1377. 


Qualitative Chemical Analysis. A guide in the practical study of chemistry and in 
the work of analysis. By Silas H. Douglas, Professor of Chemical Technology 
and Metallurgy, and Albert B. Prescott, Professor of Organic Chemistry and 
Pharmacy in the University of Michigan. Second edition, revised. New York : 
D. Van Nostrand, 1876. 8vo, pp. 254. 

Although the work is intended tor the more advanced student, who has already 
studied chemistry theoretically, the preliminary chapters contain brief explanations 
concerning chemical notation and the various operations performed in analytical 
work. This is followed by the analytical reactions of the metals, divided as usual 
into groups, and of the inorganic and of the commoner organic acids. The 
reactions given are not merely those which are necessary for the performance of 
ordinary qualitative analysis, but it has been the authors' aim to give as complete a 
picture of the behavior of the various substances as the present state of science will 
permit, for the purpose of making it available for recognition and separation under 
the most varied circumstances. The tables of comparison, which are introduced to 
take a bird's-eye view of the resemblance and differences of tne behavior of allied 
metals and acids, will be found very convenient and instructive. The book closes 
with chapters on analysis in the dry way, on the systematic analysis of solutions and 
the solubilities of salts, and with an enumeration of the reagents used in analysis. 

The authors say that the chief object in this work has been " to aid the student 
in gaining an accurate acquaintance with the facts whereby analyses are made, and 
a clear understanding of the co-ordination of these facts — the principles of analysis." 

In our opinion, the work is well calculated for this purpose, and it cannot fail, 
wnen properly used, " to prevent habits of automatic operation and of superficial 
knowledge in analysis/' We recommend it to pharmacists and others as a work of 
reference in the performance of analytical work. 

The United States Pharmacopoeia and the American Medical Association. Svo, pp. 11. 

This pamphlet, by Prof. H. C. Wood of the University of Pennsylvania, opposes 
the position in regard lo the national " Pharmacopoeia," as taken by Dr. Squibb in 
the pamphlet noticed on page 143 of our last number, and, like the latter, merits 
the careful attention of all the medical and pharmaceutical bodies of the United 

The People ~js. Schrumpf. Misdemeanor : Adulteration of Milk. Argument of 
W. P. Prentice, counsel to the Board of Health for the prosecution. New York 1 
1877. Svo, pp. 32. 

A few months ago this case attracted considerable attention, and was freely dis- 
cussed by the daily papers. The pamphlet before us is an able review of the testi- 
mony on both sides, and more particularly of that portion which relates to the 
detection of watered milk by mean's of the lactometer, which Prof. Doremus had 
asserted was unreliable. The accused was found guilty. 

Report on the Salt Manufacture of Michigan. Prepared to accompjany volume III 
of the State Geological Survey. By S. S. Garrigues, Ph.D., State Salt Inspector. 
New York: Julius Bien, 1876 pp. 52. 

An interesting report on the manufacture of salt, entering into details concerning- 
apparatus, process, inspection and yield, and giving also historical notes and statist- 
ical information. 

Considerations in Relation to Diseases of the Joints. By David Prince, M.D. pp. 33. 
Reprinted from the "American Practitioner," February, 1877. 



MAY, 1877. 


By Alfred B. Taylor. 

[Read at a special meeting of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, held April g 7 1S77.) 

The approach of the usual time for the decennial revision of the 
" United States Pharmacopoeia, " calls for an early consideration from 
all practically interested in this important work, of any suggestions 
which may be presented, having in view improvements in its matter 
or its method. 

A project contemplating very radical changes in the conduct of this 
revision has recently been promulgated and advocated with great ability 
and earnestness by Dr. E. R. Squibb, of Brooklyn, and has already 
been presented with characteristic energy to the American Medical. 
Association in June last, to the American Pharmaceutical Association 
in September last, to the King's County Medical Society of New York 
in October last, and to the New York College of Pharmacy in Decem- 
ber last. Collected and published in a pamphlet form, the position 
and arguments advanced by Dr. Squibb have been widely disseminated 
through the medical and pharmaceutical professions, and will doubtless 
receive the attention due to the importance of the subject discussed. 

The project referred to comprises two entirely distinct and independ- 
ent topics, although they have constantly been treated by their author 
as the mere details of a single system. The first topic is a proposal 
to abolish the function and jurisdiction of the well-known and long 
established " National Convention for revising the U. S. Pharmaco- 
poeia," by a formal resolution of the American Medical Association 
that it "does now and hereby assume the ownership of the c Pharma- 
copoeia of the United States of America,' and as the superior repre- 


2io The United States Pharmacopoeia and { km £y%s 7 )* rm - 

•sentative body of the organized medical profession does now and hereby 
relieve the ' National Convention for Revising the Pharmacopoeia' from 
any farther acts of ownership, control or management of the Phar- 
macopoeia." (p. 31 of pamphlet.) The second topic broached is the 
advocacy of certain changes in the plan of the work and in the fre- 
quency of its publication ; (pp. 43, 44.) changes which, if shown to be 
really desirable improvements, have evidently no relation whatever to 
their parentage, and may as readily and effectually be accomplished by 
ithe present organization as by its hypothetical successor. 

The first project certainly presents a somewhat startling character, 
and It is difficult to seize fully the argument by which it is attempted 
to be justified. The general proposition appears to be that the National 
Convention, though sufficiently well adapted for the purpose of its 
creation some sixty years ago, by reason of the special ability of the 
few men who continuously executed the prescribed task of revision, 
yet as these few eminent men have passed from their field of action, 
the National Convention has practically outlived its usefulness, and 
may now as well be decently buried. If it be true that the vitality 
<of an organization is thus to be assimilated to the longevity of an 
individual, what better guarantee has the American Medical Associa- 
tion to offer that its usefulness could outlive the alloted term of three- 
score years. For " if by reason of strength they be four-score years, 
yet is their strength labor and sorrow ; for it is soon cut off, and we 
fly away." 

" It will be noticed," says the author, " that this decennial Conven- 
tion for this express purpose long antedates this Association, and it is proba- 
ble that if this Association had been in existence in 1820, or any similar 
National Association, it would have had charge of the Pharmacopoeia." 
(p. 4.) Possibly so. What then ? If this Association had preceded 
;the decennial Convention, " it is probable " it would have rendered it 
superfluous ; therefore^ not having preceded, it should now supersede 
the Convention 1 " As it stands now, this Association is very nearly a 
duplicate of the Pharmacopoeia Convention ; so nearly so that one or 
the other seems unnecessary." If this striking similarity really exists, 
it does not appear doubtful which of the two should, and which of the 
two must, " its quietus make," and gracefully or otherwise retire from 
the field. If " this Association is so nearly a duplicate of the Phar- 
macopoeia Convention," which was long before organized " for this 


Am Ma y, r i8 7 h 7 arm ' } The American Medical Association. 2 1 1 

express purpose," so much the worse for the " duplicate for upon it 
lies exclusively the onerous task of establishing its raism d'etre. Never 
has it been heard of that the occupant by primogeniture need be called 
on to produce his title-deeds, or to abdicate at the invitation of the 
younger "duplicate;" and it is not probable that the considerate mass 
of either the medical or the pharmaceutical professions will u willingly 
let die " the~older occupant of the field, placed there " for this express 
purpose " of revision, and successful (Dr. Squibb himself being the 
judge) in having "worked well for more than fifty years;". (p. 4.) hav- 
ing exercised " the powerful influence of work well done." (p. 32.) 

Perhaps a plea might be put it for the continued existence of the 
American Medical Association, that in conception and creation, in 
objects and in career, it was by no means so ct nearly a duplicate " of 
the National Convention as had been represented ; that its membership 
was determined by a certain respectability of standing among thera- 
peutists, without any reference to fitness, real or supposed, for critically 
determining the best forms of the Materia Medica and its pharmaceu- 
tical preparations. And our author has told us that even a selected 
council of physicians, " fitted without special training to take up such 
a work and do it moderately well at once, certainly could not be found !" 
(p. 14.) On the other hand, the decennial National Convention, 
selected from representatives of the medical and pharmaceutical pro- 
fessions throughout the country, supposed to be best qualified for this 
especial work, convened " for this express purpose," and distracted by 
no other objects or discussions, would seem at first sight to occupy a 
domain very far removed from any chance of rivalry, or any suspicion 
of encroachment on even the youngest of annual fellowships and pro- 
fessional associations. 

It will be observed that the resolution above cited " assumes owner- 
ship of the Pharmacopoeia " for the American Medical Association 
by a coup detat, " as the superior representative body of the organized 
medical profession." This is certainly a curious ground on which to 
base such an " assumption," admitting the modest claim to be well 
founded. But " superior representative body " in what respect ? " For 
this express purpose ?" Never can such a proposition be for a moment 
admitted ! 

u That the plan of revising the Pharmacopoeia by this Convention has 
been eminently successful and sufficient up to 1850 or i860 will not 

212 The United States Pharmacopoeia and { Am 'J™%f%!"*' 

be doubted by any reasonable person, for the testimony of the great 
mass of the profession will be heartily, promptly and thankfully accorded 
to this proposition." (p. 33.) But the objection is raised that the 
existing Convention u has not been so successful in the later revisions, 
and notably defective in the last one, when the committee of final 
revision and publication refused to carry out the instructions of the 
Convention, and substituted its own judgment in opposition to that of 
the authority by which the committee was created." (p. 5.) It is pre- 
sumed that this somewhat severe condemnation (which, after all, cer- 
tainly cannot fall upon the Convention) refers to the failure of the execu- 
tive committee to substitute measures of weight in all formulas of 
liquid preparations, for measures of capacity, as directed by the sixth 
resolution of general instructions. Now it must be said in extenuation 
of this dereliction, that the proposed change was admittedly a very 
radical one ; that probably very few of the members of the Convention 
who voted for the change fully realized the amount of labor and 
responsibility involved in the reconstruction of formulas on the basis of 
weight alone, in deciding on just ratios, in many cases by new and 
original determinations of specific gravity, and in probably modifying 
more or less every tincture, solution and mixture of the Pharmacopoeia, 
and that this additional labor would probably have entailed another 
year of delay in the completion of the work. This fault of omission 
on the part of the committee, at the worst but a conservative retarda- 
tion of the car of progress, leaving the Pharmacopoeia no less use- 
ful than in its previous revisions, certainly forms no very cogent reason 
for impugning or invading the legitimate jurisdiction of the Convention. 

But it is further objected (and this in an argument before the last 
meeting of the American Pharmaceutical Association) that the last 
revision of the Pharmacopoeia "does not represent the progress in 
pharmacy up to the time " that its descriptions and details are insuf- 
ficient " that its processes are many of them unnecessary " — some 
" defective, while a few are positively bad;" and "that there are 
more errors in it" than there should be. (pp. 10, 11.) Vague as are 
these allegations, they may be met with a simple and direct traverse. 
It may be confidently affirmed that in relative excellence, in fullness, 
and in general accuracy, the last edition of the Pharmacopoeia com- 
pares favorably with its predecessors, upon which Dr. Squibb has 
expended his contrasted praise that "the work was so admirably done." 

Am Ma y, r 'i8 7 h 7 arrn 1 The American Medical Association. 2 13 

And the decision of the issue may be left to the intelligent pharmacist. 
Perhaps very few of the criticisms since offered to the last revision 
were not freely and fully canvassed in the committee. 

In the address before the New York College of Pharmacy we find 
the somewhat milder statement, " The true reason why our last revi- 
sion was so unsuccessful, and probably the only reason why we are 
now left to desire a change, if we do desire one, is because it is so con- 
structed as to require a Dispensatory, and is now without one." (p. 19.) 
This appears to be a totally new objection. Certainly a " Dispensa- 
tory " is no part of a " Pharmacopoeia," and as certainly it was no 
part of the duty of the Convention, or of its executive Committee, to 
prepare a "Dispensatory." The cause of the unfortunate delay in 
issuing the expected revision of the latter work, it is well known, is 
the infirm condition of its venerable surviving editor and proprietor. 

Our critic proceeds : " The reason why we have not a better Phar- 
macopoeia now, is that the labor involved was so great that no man 
or set of men should have been asked to perform it unpaid. The Com- 
mittee did not only all that could be reasonably expected of them, but 
far more ,than they could afford to do. . . . Let us not permit 
ourselves to complain that the work was not better done, but let us be 
thankful that it was done so well." (p. 19.) 

An objection more directly addressed to the decennial Convention 
is the somewhat curious one that this body is not properly a " national" 
one. " Whatever may have been the reasons, this organization never 
was a national one, in any true sense of the word, in its relation to the 
aggregate medical profession of the United States, and its Conventions 
were not only infrequent, but small, and simply gave support and autho- 
rity to a very few men." (p. 6.) Now, what are the simple facts as to 
the constituency of this organization? The fundamental rule of its 
existence is — 

" The President of this Convention shall, on the first day of May, 
1879, issue a notice requesting the several incorporated State Medical 
Societies, the incorporated Medical Colleges, the incorporated Colleges of 
Physicians and Surgeons, and the incorporated Colleges of Pharmacy, 
throughout the United States, to elect a number of delegates not exceed- 
three, to attend a General Convention to be held in Washington on 
the first Wednesday in May, 1880." 

Here are four most important classes of Associations "throughout 

2 14 The United States Pharmacopceia and { Am 'i™;J* axm 

the United States " specifically invited to send delegates to this general 
Convention, and yet it is not national! What, then, is to make it 
" national " ? A penal enactment in Congress that every specified 
association in every State shall send delegates ? Let us hear Dr. 
Squibb's own statement. "The fact that in this organization the med- 
ical profession of eight to twelve States only was represented, was not 
the fault of the organization, for each decennial Convention not only 
invited delegates from all the States, but urged upon State Societies, 
Colleges, etc., the importance of being represented in and aiding in a 
work of such importance." (p. 6.) So, according to our author, some- 
thing more than the right to send delegates, or the formal request, or 
the urgent solicitation to send delegates, is requisite to confer a general 
or national character upon the Convention. By this postulate, the 
attempted secession of the Southern States, some sixteen years ago, 
left us without a u National " Congress ! even though it might be 
charitably conceded that the default of the absenting representatives 
" was not the fault" of the faithful Congress. If the Medical section 
of the constituency of the Convention neglected in many of the States 
to present an appearance in response to the urgent invitatipn of the 
Convention, this apparent apathy " was not the fault of the organiza- 
tion and if it may have been, as suggested by Dr. Squibb, " perhaps 
more than all, because the aggregate profession had full confidence in 
the few men who managed the interest so well, and trusted them fully, 
basing this trust justly upon the beneficent results of their labors (p. 6.) 
possibly it was quite as much because the aggregate profession felt but 
little special interest in the object of the Convention, and but little dis- 
position to engage in a laborious and somewhat thankless undertaking. 

As a contrasted picture to this local and sectional Convention, let us 
contemplate what is characterized as " a truly national organization " 
in the American Medical Association. "From 1848 to the present 
time this Association has consisted of representatives from so nearly all 
the States that it must be fairly considered a national organization." 
(p. 6.) Could not some of this " truly national " flavor be generously 
imparted to the now limited and provincial Convention ? " It would 
be quite competent for this Association, at its meeting for 1879, to 
direct one of its constituent members from each State Medical Society 
to attend this 4 Convention for Revising the Pharmacopoeia' in i88o > 
and thus give to the organization that nationality of character which it 

Am £y l !'i£ 7 t Tm } The American Medical Association. 2 1 5 

now needs." (p. 7.) There we have the true secret of a 44 national] 
character ! " Instead of invitation and earnest appeal for three dele- 
gates from every incorporated institution of medicine and pharmacy 
u throughout the United States," let the Convention in the future 
"direct" one member from each State to attend, and it will then have 
attained (what it now needs) u a truly national character ! " It is true 
that the Medical Association represents but one of the four classes 
represented in the Convention, but " this is of no consequence ! " 
Surely, never was there a stranger fabrication of a premiss to serve a. 
theory than in this " distinction." 

Now let us learn its purpose. " If it does represent the aggregate- 
medical profession, it is fairly entitled to the management and control of 
all the general interests of that profession. . . . Among the most 
important of these ... is that of the Pharmacopoeia ; and! 
this interest has, up to this time, been left entirely under the control of 
the older and smaller national organization." (p. 6.) Surely, never was- 
there a stranger non-sequitur fabricated from such a premiss. 

It has not been pretended that the American Medical Association 
was called into existence with any reference whatever to " this express- 
purpose," or that its members have been delegated, in any sense, as 
special experts in chemistry or in pharmacy, or in technical knowledge 
of the materia medica. Indeed, it may be said that the contrary is 
tacitly admitted throughout the argument. " Now, the American- 
Medical Association, as a large, unwieldy, migratory body, must man- 
age such an interest as this by some fixed and permanent body organ- 
ized for the purpose within the Association." (p. 24.) Hence, " the- 
plan which is to be submitted to the American Medical Association, at 
its meeting in June next, is that it shall organize a Pharmacopoeia!.! 
Council, to be incorporated if necessary, consisting of five members^ 
which council shall be charged with the entire management of the 
Pharmacopoeia and all that pertains to it, and be responsible only to 
the American Medical Association. This council I would propose to 
form as follows : The nominating committee of the Association to 
nominate and the Association to elect the president of the council 
then the association to invite (not u direct ") the Surgeon-Generals of 
the Army and Navy each to appoint one member, and invite the 
American Pharmaceutical Association to appoint two members." (p. 25.) 
Now for the modus operandi. "As the meetings of this council would 

a 1 6 The United States Pharmacopoeia and { Am ^- 1 |^ m ' 

have to be frequent during the general revisions, and perhaps two or 
three times a year for the supplementary fasciculi, and as the members 
would have to educate themselves to the special work, it would, per- 
haps, be better that the council should be small and compact, and live 
in adjacent cities." (p. 9.) As three of the council are to constitute a 
quorum, (p. 54.) who may " obtain a change in any of its members," 
we should probably have, as the final outcome of the so much vaunted 
nationality " of the enterprise^ Pharmacopoeia under the entire control 
of three representatives of the United States, (small and compact) " living 
in immediately adjacent cities ! " And this is gravely proposed as an 
eminently tc national " improvement on the existing local plan of an 
executive Committee of fifteen, representing nine leading cities, from 
Boston to Richmond, and from New York to San Francisco, together 
with a representative of the Army and of the Navy of the United 

There is in the proposal, on behalf of the youthful Association, to 
quietly "assume the ownership" of the special and peculiar property 
of an old-established and entirely independent organization, an element 
of the ludicrous, which we think that Dr. Squibb himself could not 
fail to appreciate, were he to change his subjective for an objective 
stand-point. Perhaps the nearest typical analogue of the proposition is 
to be found in Mr. Dickens' veracious history of a somewhat similar 
appropriation by Mr. John Dawkins (otherwise known as "The Artful * 
Dodger") of a silver snuff-box ; he having first unanimously adopted 
the mental " resolution," that he " does now and hereby relieve the 
late proprietor from any farther acts of ownership, control, or manage- 
ment of the aforesaid silver snuff-box." 

Let us suppose, then, that the American Pharmaceutical Associa- 
tion, at its forthcoming meeting, should adopt the following preamble 
and resolutions : 

Whereas, The American Pharmaceutical Association, as being the only organ- 
ized body which represents the profession of Pharmacy in the United States of 
America, may fairly claim the right to control all the general rights and interests of 

the profession ; and 

Whereas, " The Pharmacopoeia of the United States of America," is among 
the most important of such general rights and interests ; and 

Whereas, A national Pharmacopoeia is in no proper sense a Manual of Thera- 
peutics, but is, and should ever continue to be, ic an authorized dictionary of the 
standard materia medica and 

Am Mly r ,'^ rnL } The American Medical Association. 217 

Whereas, A national Pharmacopoeia " is the result of accumulated experience 
and scientific research as directed to remedial agents, and especially aims to estab- 
lish a standard for quality, strength and uniformity in the materia medica ; and in 
accomplishing this it also becomes of necessity an authorized formulary for com- 
pounding the substances of the materia medica, or converting them into such pre- 
parations as come into general use under specific names," etc. ; therefore be it 

Resolved, That the American Pharmaceutical Association does now and hereby 
assume the ownership of the " Pharmacopoeia of the United States of America." 
And as the superior representative body of the organized profession of Pharmacy, 
does now and hereby relieve the "National Convention for Revising the Pharm- 
acopoeia " from any farther acts of ownership, control or management of the 

If this resolution should strike the author of its original, as being 
somewhat presumptuous, to the present writer it really appears much 
less so than the one it parodies. 

The fundamental fallacy of the repeated declaration " that the 
American Medical Association as the only concrete body or organiza- 
tion which fairly represents the whole medical profession of the United 
States, and therefore as really owning the United States Pharm- 
acopoeia as one of its most important general interests, should now 
take possession of the Pharmacopoeia and control it henceforth," 
(p. 13.) lies in the equivocal use of the word " medical." The postulate 
is approximately true, only on the narrow and technical implication that 
the u medical profession " is equivalent to the art of applied medicine, 
in other words, to u therapeutics and in this sense the sequence be- 
comes (be it said with all respect) ridiculously inadequate. On any 
broad and philosophical significance of the phrase as embracing the 
abstract science of medicine or " pharmacology," the declaration is 
self-evidently erroneous. For any purpose of giving plausibility to the 
quod erat desideratum, for any purpose of giving equitable color of juris- 
diction to a pharmacopoeia, it is very far from correct to affirm or to 
assume that the American Medical Association u fairly represents the 
whole medical profession !" So far the contrary, that most important 
part of it, specially devoted to the study and preparation of " medi- 
cines," is in that body entirely unrepresented. And yet our author 
has himself admitted " that pharmacy is as much a part of medicine as 
surgery," (p. 22) — very much more ; for surgery is not in strictness an 
application of ct medicine." 

" The Pharmacopoeia, then, is a general interest of medicine. . . . 
Now, if one of the general interests of medicine, who has a right to 

ii 8 The United States Pharmacopoeia and { Am \l°y]\l^ m: 

its control ? The united interests of medicine, and not the interests of 
any separate part." (p. 22.) The writer says very correctly, that 
44 Pharmacy is but a specialty of medicine." (p. 22.) In stating and in- 
sisting on this fact, however, he seems not to have recognized u its 
other side," that medical practice has also, by the very same operation, 
become specialized. The physician is no longer a druggist as he once 
was ; and this differentiation but illustrates the universal law of growth 
and development. When, therefore, Dr. Squibb reiterates " the united 
interests of the united parts is found in this country in the American 
Medical Association, and nowhere else," (p. 22.) he mistakes utterly. 
The interests of medicine are found in this country just as much in the 
American Pharmaceutical Association. The " united interests " are 
obviously found in neither representative body separately. When he 
adds, " By right, every pharmacist should be a member of the medical 
profession by education, and should then be a member of the Amer- 
ican Medical Association, for there is where he belongs, to practice 
one of its specialties," (p. 22.) he evidently fails to realize that general 
law of organic evolution, that specializations, when once established, 
may either survive and grow, or may decline by atrophy ; but that they 
never merge. He argues as though the therapeutist, after successive 
44 specializations," still retained the original " comprehensive type.' 1 ' 
When he says that 44 wherever the organization is found which em- 
braces the general interests of medicine, it is there that the Pharma- 
copoeia should go, for it is there that it belongs," (p. 22.) he has estab- 
lished very clearly that at least it cannot properly go to the American 
Medical Association, even if that body possessed the moral and legal 
authority to 44 appropriate " it. 

Referring to the profession of pharmacy, he says, 44 It happens that, 
from being the first and oldest specialty which grew out of medicine, 
it has erected itself into a special art or profession, and shows a ten- 
dency to claim independence of the medical profession, and a 
co-equality. To appreciate how unreasonable such a claim would be, 
if ever seriously made by pharmacy, it is only necessary to remember 
that medicine, in order to do without pharmacy as a profession, has 
only to compound and dispense its own remedies to its own patients." 
(p. 49.) Here again we have the latent impression that the physician 
still retains his ancient 44 comprehensive type that he has only tem- 
porarily (as it were) laid aside the gathering of simples, and may at any 

Am ife"i8^ arm ' } The American Medical Association. 2 1 9 

time resume it. The writer still fails to realize that the " medicine " 
is necessarily as old as the " medicine- man and when, in the progress 
of civilization (which is evolution), the two became detached — lo, there 
were two medicine-men : the one resigning his visitations of the sick,, 
that he might give a more efficient and undivided attention to the 
preparation and dispensation of remedies ; and the other resigning his 
labors over drugs that he might give the fuller and more observant 
attention to the sick. And here, as everywhere, " specialization of 
function" has resulted in a wonderful advancement and perfection of 
the function on either side. Now it is just as nonsensical to talk of 
the pharmacist resuming his ancient care of the sick as to talk of the 
really skillful and intelligent physician returning " to compound and' 
dispense his own remedies to his own patients !" But it is not a whit 
more nonsensical so to talk. 

" How shall the art of pharmacy ever become either co-equal with^ 
or independent of, the art of medicine ? If not co-equal with, it must 
be either superior or subordinate to the medical art ; and subordinate 
it certainly is, and this with a dangerous tendency to the mer- 
cantile bias." (p. 49.) Such is our author's way of not u trying to 
draw a dividing line " between 15 medicine and pharmacy," which he 
has just before declared to be " irrational " ! (p. 48). Such is the 
"imaginary antagonism which has been too much cultivated !" (p. 7.) 
What ground has Dr. Squibb for imagining that, by the existing method 
of selecting expert pharmacists as delegates to the Convention, there is 
the probability of infusing a " mercantile bias " ? What suspicion has 
ever been breathed that the labors of the pharmacist in the past, 
whether in Convention or in Committee, have ever tinged or tainted 
the Pharmacopoeia with a " mercantile bias " ? What purpose of 
division and antagonism is to be served by the suggestion of " a 
dangerous tendency to the mercantile bias " in the future ? The impu- 
tation is as wholly unjust and unwarranted, as it is ungenerous and 

The existing decennial Convention is neither a Medical nor a 
Pharmaceutical Society. It is a very special body of men, selected 
deliberately from chartered Colleges of either profession, convened on 
a platform of individual equality, for the exclusive work of revising 
the Pharmacopoeia. For fifty years has this Convention performed 
its allotted duty, and performed it well. How well is evinced by the 

220 The United States Pharmacopoeia and { Am ^%^ mA ' 

reluctant admissions of the talented Adversary of the Convention. 
During this time no occasion or suspicion of any rivalry between the 
two leading professions represented has occurred to mar its equanimity 
or to distract its efforts. Nor has the pharmacist, although most 
directly interested in the result of its action, and most completely 
involved in the details of its execution, ever felt aggrieved that he has 
been outnumbered in the Convention by double the medical representa- 
tion ; or ever desired a change in the constitution or the method of the 

It is now proposed to abolish this Convention, and to transfer its 
great work entirely to the keeping of a Medical Association. The 
projector has not, however, been guilty of the stupendous absurdity of 
devising a production of the Pharmacopoeia with Pharmacy entirely 
^ left out j" for, he says, " it would be almost as impracticable to 
manage the interests involved in the Pharmacopoeia without the 
co operation of pharmacy, as for pharmacy to manage them without 
medicine ; simply because pharmacy has accumulated an amount of 
knowledge and experience, which medicine has long ceased to work for 
and accumulate, and which medicine cannot afford to do without or to 
disregard." (p. 8.) A verv sufficient statement that " medicine " (in 
Dr. Squibb's use of the word) does not comprehend " pharmacy," 
and, therefore, does not comprise " the united interests of the united 
parts, found in this country in the American Medical Association," as 
he has so fondly persuaded himself, and has so ingeniously labored to 
make us believe. 

How, then, is this grand embodiment of " the united interests of 
4 medicine,' and not the interests of any separate part ; the united 
interests of the united parts in this country," (p. 22.) to execute its 
magnificent programme ? " Pharmacy is represented in the National 
Pharmaceutical Association . . . and pharmacy is essential to the 
Pharmacopoeia ! !" (p. 8.) Therefore, it is proposed that the Ameri- 
can Medical Association " should, in a proper way, invite the co-opera- 
tion of the American Pharmaceutical Association in this work, under 
the fully recognized leadership of the American Medical Association !" 
We are not sure that there is not a typographical error in this quota- 
tion, and that the word " invite " should not be " direct," especially as 
we find this latter word employed on the preceding page in a somewhat 
similar connection. 

Am 'Mly,\sy7 m '} The American Medical Association, 221 

A very slight modification of the above process might (with all diffi- 
dence) be suggested, which would seem to give a congruity of purpose, 
a unity of plan, and a solidarity of result, eminently fitting and equita- 
ble. Remembering that u pharmacy is but a specialty of medicine," 
" but a subordinate part of the medical art ;" and remembering further 
that tc by right every pharmacist should be a member of the medical 
profession by education, and should then be a member of the American 
Medical Association," (p. 22.) and, whereas, there should be no 
invidious distinction made between the several parts of the " united 
interests of medicine " in this country, or between the decennial 
Pharmacopoeia Convention on the one hand, and the annual Asso- 
ciation of Pharmacists on the other, in our treatment of the same, 
therefore, let it be u resolved," that the American Medical Associa- 
tion, as the superior representative body of the organized medical pro- 
fession, does now and hereby relieve the American Pharmaceutical 
Association from any further acts of control or management of affairs 
connected with the improvement of the art and science of pharmacy, 
and does now and hereby "assume" the entire ownership and control 
of all the properties, rights, duties and proceedings whatsoever of the 
said Association. For " it will hardly be doubted that this Association, 
as the only national representative of the profession," " is fairly entitled 
to the management and control of all the general interests of that pro- 
fession, and the only proper source of authoritative action." As 
pharmacy is evidently one of the most important interests of the 
medical profession, " it would be quite competent for this Association," 
at its next meeting, to accomplish this desirable end and thus give to 
pharmacy a "truly national" character ! The absorption of virtue, 
by this proceeding, would, doubtless, fully equal the " assumption " of 
responsibility thus "resolutely" effected. For there is much virtue in 
good " resolutions." 

The writer appears to realize that this Association is not entirely 
adapted to the peculiar business in which he would have it engage ; 
(p. 24.) and that even a select council, to whom it should wholly 
commit the subject, could not be expected to " do it moderately well 
without special training." (p. 14.) Nevertheless, having wrenched the 
spoil from a Convention of " specialized function," for the honor and 
aggrandizement of the " superior " Association, he would have the 
latter " control and manage the Pharmacopoeia by means of a 

222 The United States Pharmacopeia and { Am 'Jay''i8 7 h 7 ! rm * 

council, to be styled the Pharmacopoeial Council of the American 
Medical Association." This council of five to " be charged with the 
entire control and management of the Pharmacopoeia in all its 
details." (p. 13.) The American Pharmaceutical Association being 
u invited " to select and appoint two pharmacists to serve on the 
council, the ingenious author of the scheme acknowledges that " it 
seems a little doubtful, however, whether the Association will accept 
such an invitation if tendered (p. 52.) and he expresses an artless 
" surprise " that several prominent members should have been so 
" unreasonable " as to object to so advantageous an arrangement. 

(P- 53-) 

Is it seriously supposed that a co-ordinate national Association could, 
with self-respect, accept an " invitation " to assist, " under the fully 
recognized leadership of the American Medical Association," in eking 
out the lack of special skill and training of a body which had unwar- 
rantably " assumed " a task for which that body was utterly unquali- 
fied ? ct The professions of medicine and pharmacy are inseparable in 
a pharmacopoeia ; and it seems irrational to try to draw a dividing 
line." (p. 48.) And who has been prominently engaged in this 
u irrational " attempt, if not the man who has undertaken to wrest a 
great work from an " inseparable " organization of the pharmacist and 
physician, to place it under the entire control and " fully recognized 
leadership " of the medical profession ? 

Our revolutionist very properly deprecates all attempts at encourag- 
ing a jealous feeling between the physician and the pharmacist. 
" Medicine and pharmacy," he says, " without their natural con- 
nection and dependence upon each other, would soon lose their utility 
to mankind. . . . And an imaginary antagonism between them, 
which has been too much cultivated of late on both parts, is exercising 
a degenerating effect on both." (p. 7.) And yet the whole fabric of 
reconstruction, so laboriously devised, is based on an unconscious 
sentiment of rivalry between the two professions. 

It needs no argument to show that for an efficient revision of the 
Pharmacopoeia there is required the co-operation of at least four 
classes of specially trained experts ; first, one or more medical experts, 
to bring a large experience and knowledge to bear on the therapeutic 
value of proposed additions to, or withdrawals from, the Materia 
Medica ; second and third, one or more botanical experts, and one or 

Am May"i8 P 7 h 7 arm } The American Medical Association. 223 

more chemical experts, to bring an enlightened judgment to bear as to 
the characteristics and tests of standard excellence • in the organic, and 
in the inorganic departments of the Materia Medica ; and fourth, one 
or more pharmacal experts to consider well the preparations and 
processes to be adopted in the Pharmacopoeia. No subsidiary 
employment of special technical experts (" under direction of the 
council " p. 53) can possibly supplement a lack of these powers and 
capacities in the executive Commission itself, however desirable such 
employment of additional skill may be in assisting such powers and 
capacities. No single man or class of men can possibly embody, in 
sufficient degree, this necessary range of culture and attainment. 

And yet our enterprising innovator is so bent on having the coveted 
work medically done (well, if possible, but if ill, still medically done,) 
that anticipating a failure to secure the co-operation — we mean sub- 
operation — of " pharmacy,*' he has made full provision for "running 
the machine " — " in case the American Pharmaceutical Association 
should decline this invitation (p. 41.) as it is "necessary to provide 
in the organization of the council, against any miscarriage of the work." 

(P- 53-) 

Were, then, the previous declarations that " a pharmacopoeia with- 
out pharmacy would be a theory without practice (p. 7.) "that it 
would be almost as impracticable to manage the interests involved in 
the Pharmacopoeia without the co-operation of pharmacy, as for phar- 
macy to manage them without medicine (p. 8.) and " that the phar- 
macists and physicians should unite in making the Pharmacopoeia 
(p. 22.) were these declarations intended to be taken in a " Pick- 
wickian " sense ? And is the plan matured that in case the American 
Pharmaceutical Association should be innocent enough to accept an 
invitation "under the fully recognized leadership" of the superior 
representative body, the pharmacists shall ultimately be " invited " out 
by the competent and plenary authority which invited them in, when 
the proper time shall have arrived, and the new departure may be con- 
sidered to have been fully established ? 

" Medicine and pharmacy, without their natural connection and de- 
pendence upon each other, would soon lose their utility to mankind !" 
(p. 7.) "Pharmacy is one of the specialties of medicine, and bears a 
closer relation to general medicine than any other specialty j" (p. 49.) 

224 The United States PJiarmacopceia and { Km '^]\l^ m ' 

not even excepting the specialty of practical therapeutics, or the heal- 
ing art itself. 

" How, now, can medicine do without pharmacy ? The answer 
here seems equally plain, that it could not do without it at all, and that 
it would be very unwise to attempt it, unless pharmacy, acting as a 
separate profession, should force the irrational and unnatural discord." 
(p. 49.) But Pharmacv unquestionably is " a separate profession," in 
the same sense, and to the full extent that Therapeutics or" Medicine" 
is a separate profession. The answer here " seems equally plain :" 
pharmacy could not well do without " medicine," and it would be very 
unwise to attempt it, unless medicine, 41 acting as a separate profession, 
should force the irrational and unnatural discord !" 

Our author has deliberately published his " proposed plan for the 
future management of the U. S. Pharmacopoeia, to be submitted to 
the American Medical Association at its Annual Meeting in Chicago 
in June, 1877." (p. 30.) If the military aptness displayed by the con- 
templated procedure of confiscation is striking, still more remarkable 
if possible is the stratagetic combination suggested to get rid of the 
superfluous incumbent, the surviving organization thus sought to be 
despoiled. " That can be easily done, for the American Medical 
Association can say next year, if it chooses, to those bodies which are 
at present represented in the Association, and were represented in the 
last decennial Convention, that the Association has decided to take 
possession of the Pharmacopoeia, and asks such bodies if\t be in their 
judgment a proper move to make, to send delegates with authority to 
transfer allegiance from the National Convention to that Association. 
Then, if complied with, the matter is plain, for the American Medi- 
cal Association can pass a resolution, asking that the President of the 
National Convention shall not call the Convention in 1880 !" (p. 23.) 

The general method, if ingenious, is not entirely unprecedented ; 
for (if Dr. Squibb will pardon the metaphor) this is not the first time 
that an assassination has been contrived to wear the guise of a suicide. 
Two subjects of surprise, however, are occasioned by this passage ; 
the first is the "assumption" of authority over the constituent bodies 
represented in the Association ; (though we do miss the word " direct,") 
and the second is the further "assumption" that these constituent 
bodies can control the Convention. In Dr. H. C. Wood's excellent 
pamphlet, in reply to Dr. Squibb, it is stated that "out of the thirty- 

Am. Jour. Pharm) 
May, 1877. J 

The American Medical Association. 

one organized bodies represented in the National Pharmacopoeial Con- 
vention of 1870, but six or seven are entitled to send delegates to the 
American Medical Association, and no college is permitted representation 
in the Association." (p. 8.) That is to say, under a Napoleonic general- 
ship, three State Medical Societies and three local Medical Societies 
(supposing them to be obedient to the behests of the American Medi- 
cal Association,) are " assumed" to overwhelm and rout twenty-two 
other incorporated bodies represented in the National Convention, and 
not represented in the Medical Association I 1 

As certainly as any human events can be foreseen, the National 
Convention for revising the United States Pharmacopoeia will hold 
its usual decennial meeting " in Washington, on the first Wednesday 
in May, 1880." And as certainly it will proceed as usual to the 
deliberate discharge of its appropriate duties ; adopting its well-con- 
sidered policy, and giving to. the medicinal professions of the country 
in due time its expected edition of the United States Pharmacopoeia. 

Re-iterating the cherished fallacy that the American Medical Asso- 
ciation, " as the superior body, and even embracing the very elements 
of the National Convention [!] may relieve it and assume its functions 
and work," the writer, under review, proceeds to the logical result, 
that this Association " may even carry these out in its own way, yet 
the officers of the Convention may decline to be relieved, and may 
call a Convention in 1880, as provided for by the Convention of 1870. 
There might then be two Pharmacopoeias." (p. 35.) 

Should the ill-advised counsels of Dr. Squibb find any sufficient fol- 
lowing to re-enact the farce of 1830, when New York ventured the 
experiment of a rival Pharmacopoeia, the event will be deplored by 
the judicious, but it will not effect the credit or the success of the 
only duly authorized occupant of the field. 

As if in anticipation of such a programme, the author ventures to 
announce the following opinion : " If the American Medical Asso- 
ciation took the title from the Convention, and produced its book first, 
then the pharmacists would be obliged to call their book by some other 

1 This does not include, on either side, the representation of the following three 
bodies : the Medical Departments of the " U. S. Army," and of the " U. S. 
Navy," and the " Medico Chirurgical Society of Louisville," which three bodies, 
although represented in the last National Convention, were not represented in the 
American Medical Association at that time. 



Weights and Measures. 

f A.m Jour. Pharm. 
1 May, 1877. 

name !" (p. 27.) In this very remarkable announcement, the aspiring 
opponent of the Convention has evidently not taken the precaution to 
secure the advice of Legal Counsel. 

While we believe that the existing method of constituting the Con- 
vention could not well be improved, we are inclined to the opinion 
that an authority given by the National Government to a standard of 
so much importance as the U. S. Pharmacopoeia, would be very 
desirable. Fully recognizing both the difficulty and the impolicy of 
any penal enforcement of such a standard in a country where, as Dr. 
Squibb has stated it, " every man has a right to have his disease treated 
as he pleases," we do not think it necessarily follows that, " hence we 
cannot hope to have a governmental pharmacopoeia in any true sense 
of the term." (p. 23.) Were the call of the Convention to emanate, 
by law, from a Secretary of one of the Departments — the Interior, 
the War, or the Navy, — with such extension of the constituency as 
might be thought proper, there can be no doubt that such official 
invitations to co-operation would be much more generally responded to, 
and that the resulting work of the Convention would have the prestige 
of a governmental sanction and authority ; at least to the extent of 
preventing the professional scandal of a rival Pharmacopoeia, such as 
we are just now so causelessly threatened with. 

The discussion of the primary portion of my subject has extended so 
far beyond my expectations and desire, that I am compelled reluctantly 
to defer the second branch, namely : proposed changes in the Phar- 
macopoeia and its Plan, to another occasion. 


By Edward Gaillard, Ph.G. 
[Read at the Pharmaceutical Meeting April 17th, 1877.) 
It is stated in the " Home Cyclopedia of the World's Progress, 
that weights and measures were invented by Phidion of Argos, 869 
B. C. 

They became general in most countries soon afterwards. Standards 
of weights and measures were provided for the whole kingdom by the 
Sheriffs of London, 8 Richard I, A. D. 1 197. Standards were again 
fixed in England in i.257. They were equalized for the United 
Kingdom in 1825, and no doubt extended over her colonies by early 

An May, r i 7 h 7 ann '} Weights and Measures. 227 

The metric system that is engrossing the mind of the pharmaceu- 
tical world here, was first adopted in France, and is now slowly super- 
seding the systems in use in other countries. It was authorized to be 
used in the United States, and its use introduced into some depart- 
ments of public service, in 1866, by act of Congress. The two most 
important points of this system are : 1st, that it is a decimal system, 
and, 2d, that the units of length, superfices, solidity and weight are 
all correlated, two data only being used, the meter and the weight 
of a cube of water, the side of which is the hundredth part of a meter. 
The system was suggested as long ago as 1528, by Jean Fernal, a 
physician of Henry II of France ; took a practical turn in 1790, and 
in 1803 a work on Pharmacy was published in the French language by 
Lagrange, giving formulas with the two systems, for example : 

Wine of Opium. 

R. Aqueous extract opium, . . 32 grams (1 ounce 

Saffron, . . . 16 « ( £ " 

Cinnamon, . . 8 " (gii 

Cloves, . . . 4 " (gi 

White wine, . . | kilogram (1 pound 


A committee of the Academy of Sciences had been appointed, and 
the result of their labors was a close approximation to the true length, 
and in the highest degree creditable to the scientific men engaged in it. 
By means of the arc of the meridian measured by Bougier and La 
Condamine, in Peru, 1736, the length of the quarter of the meridian, 
or the distance from the pole to the equator, was calculated. This 
length was partitioned into ten millions of equal parts, and one of these 
parts was taken for the unit of length, and called a meter, from the 
Greek word signifying measure. 

Two important principles form the basis of the metric system : 1st, 
that the unit of linear measure applied to matter in its three forms of 
extension, viz., length, breadth and thickness, should be the standard 
of all measures of length, surface and solidity ; 2d, that the cubic con- 
tents of the linear measure in distilled water, at a temperature of great 
contraction, should furnish at once the standard weight and measure of 
capacity. Thus, 1st, the unit of length was the meter, as we have 
seen — the 10, OOO, oooth part of a qaudrant of the earth's surface. 
From this we derive, 2d, the unit superfices, the arc — a square deci- 
meter ; 3d, the unit of capacity, the liter — a cubic decimeter ; 4th, 


Indexing of Periodicals. 

Am. Jour. Pharnx 
May, 1877. 

the unit of weight, the gram — the weight of a cubic centimeter of 

These four units are subdivided into tenth, hundredth and thou- 
sandth parts, which are denominated by the syllables derived from the 
Latin, deci, centi and milli ; the muliples are similarly by tens, hun- 
dreds, thousands and ten thousands, distinguished by the prefixes bor- 
rowed from the Greek, of deca, hecta, kilo and myria. 

The whole of the multiples and subdivisions of the metric system 
are decimal, and the reduction from one denomination to the other is 
performed by multiplying by ten or its multiples, or dividing by them. 
There is no necessity to alter the figures, but merely to read them dif- 
ferently, by placing the decimal point so many places, according to the 
terms of the required denomination. 

No system of metrology hitherto invented can be compared with 
this of the French in a scientific point of view, while its convenience 
for the purposes of commerce or pharmacy is now so generally admit- 
ted by those who have made themselves intimately acquainted with its 
workings, that the universal adoption to pharmacv cannot be much 
longer delayed. 


By Hans M. Wilder. 
Mr. Moore's article on the external treatment of books suggests to 
me that a few words concerning their internal treatment might not be 

When, in the course of our readings, we come across a statement 
which may be of use to us, or, for one reason or other, interests us, 
we " make a note of it" (so to speak) in our mind. This will do for 
awhile, particularly respecting books, etc., in our possession, which we 
can consult at any time. We soon find out, however, that our mem- 
ory is quite unreliable, particularly in regard to figures ; for this reason, 
and because we read many books and periodicals which we seldom or 
never have occasion to consult again, we keep a memorandum book in 
which we jot down the chief points, figures, etc., not forgetting refer- 
ence to book, volume and page. Provided we keep pace with the pro- 
gress of our profession, it will not take a long time before said memo- 
randum book swells to, it may be, a hundred pages or more, and we 
find it necessary to make an alphabetical register to facilitate the find- 

Am. Jour. Pharm. ) 
May, 1877. j 

Elixir Glycyrrhizte. 


ing, ail of which work has to be repeated at no distant time again. 
Now ail this is irksome, and for those who read (and note down) I 
offer the following suggestion : 

This is nothing else than the u card " system of the large libraries. 

Cut somewhat stiffish paper (which can bear a good deal of handling 
without getting creases) into convenient size (say 3 inches by 5). Now 
write each statement or fact you wish to recollect on a separate "card," 
'heading it with a catch-word in larger, heavier letters. Note down 
only the indispensable points, figures and absolutely necessary details, 
trusting your memory with the rest; do not forget to add due reference; 
you might, perhaps, wish at some future time to consult the printed 
article. Arrange ali your cards in strictly alphabetical order, and add 
any additional card at once in its place. You have now an always 
indexed suit of memoranda which can be consulted in a moment. 
Keep the cards in a card press ; by screwing tight down no card will 
get lost. 

This arrangement is also the preliminary step to making an index to 
books and periodicals, and also for cataloguing a library, the amount 
of "noting" necessary varying, of course, with the object in view. 

Speaking of periodicals : The "American Journal of Pharmacy " 
can boast of having the most complete and best-arranged general index 
of any periodical (whether scientific or semi-scientific) in the world ; 
the one that comes nearest to it in completeness, but ill-arranged, is 
the one to the " Journal de Chimie et de Pharmacie." 

Those desirous of knowing what a card catalogue looks like, may 
see one at the old Philadelphia Library (South Fifth), which is for the 
use of any visitor ; all larger libraries have one, of course. 


By Geo. W. Kennedy, Ph.G. 

An elixir by the above name has been introduced in our section with- 
in the last few weeks, intended as an adjuvant to disguise and cover 
the extremely bitter taste of the cinchona alkaloids, epsom salt and 
other nauseating and bitter medicines. I can say, after a large num- 
ber of experiments, that this elixir will admirably answer the purpose 
for which it is recommended and intended. Experiments made with 
the view to ascertain and determine the quantity of quinia an ounce of 

2 3 Q 

Elixir Glycyrrhizte. 

(Am. Jour. Pharm. 
( May, 1877. 

the elixir will completely disguise, prove that the bitterness of from 10 
to 12 grains is masked, while with from 15 to 20 grains there is but a 
slight bitterness observed, comparatively speaking. Hitherto the great 
objection to quinia as a medicine, especially when given in a liquid 
form, has been its very bitter taste. There are few sick or convales- 
cent patients who can take it in solution ; besides it is frequently pre- 
scribed for young children, and to prepare it for those in as palatable 
a condition as possible is the great object of elixir glycyrrhizae, which I 
hope will fill a vacant place in the line of the many elegant pharma- 
ceutical preparations, and one which I am satisfied, from my own ob- 
servations, will meet the hearty approval of the medical fraternity. 

The elixir taraxaci comp. of Mr. P. C. Candidus, a formula for 
which preparation was presented to the American Pharmaceutical 
Association, 1869, is also intended to mask the bitterness of quinia, and 
will be found to contain, as one of the ingredients, liquorice root ; there 
is no doubt but this root is the one which has the effect of concealing 
the bitter taste of many nauseating medicines. The main objection, I 
find, to Mr. Candidus' preparation is, that in a short time it becomes 
turbid and presents an unsightly appearance, whilst thus far the elixir 
of liquorice root has remained perfectly clear, and seems, therefore, 
preferable as an adjuvant. 

Regarding the mode of action of liquorice root in disguising the taste 
of bitter medicines better than other sweet principles, I would refer 
the reader to an article by Mr. Joseph M. Hirsh, published in this 
journal in 1871, p. 77, and copied from the " Proc. Am. Pbar. Asso,,' ? 
1870, wherein he says, " When glycyrrhizin or liquorice dissolves upon 
the tongue, the latter soon becomes furred, coated ; this coat being a 
coagulum of the albumen of the saliva with the glycyrrhizin. A few 
tests convinced me that even a weak solution of albumen coagulates 
readily with glycyrrhizin, and I took the artificial coating of the nerves 
produced by the albuminous coagulum of glycyrrhizin to be the true 
cause of its masking bitterness." And in order to prove this assertion, 
other drugs which also coagulate albumen, for example carbolic acid, 
were experimented with, and found to have a similar effect. 

My object here is to bring this subject again before the medical and 
pharmaceutical professions and recommend its use, and also to furnish a 
formula for a preparation which is much pleasanter than simple syrup 
and to the former decidedly palatable. 

Am Ma°yTi877. arm '} Aromatic Elixir of Licorice. 231 

The following formula I find to furnish an excellent elixir. 

Radic. glycyrrhizae opt., .... §ii 

Spir. vini rect. fort., . . . , f^vi 

Aquas, ...... f"3vi 

Syr. simplic , . . . . . f§iv 

Spir. aurantii, ..... f-^iss 

Spir. cinnamomi, .... TT^viii 

The spirits are made by dissolving i fluidounce of the oil in 15 fluidounces of 
stronger alcohol. 

Make a moderately coarse powder of the root, mix the alcohol and 
water, moisten the powder with the mixture, allow it to stand twelve 
hours, pack in a conical percolator, and pour on the balance of alco- 
holic mixture and sufficient diluted alcohol until 12 fluidounces of per- 
colate are obtained, then add the syrup and finally the spirits of orange 
and cinnamon. 

Pottsville, Pa., April, 1877. 


By Joseph P. Remington, Ph.G. 
Read at the Pharmaceutical Meeting, April ijth. 
Since the remarkable property possessed by preparations of glycyr- 
rhizin was noticed — of influencing the gustatory nerve so that bitter 
and disagreeable substances can be readily administered without betray- 
ing their presence — several forms of using this valuable addition to the 
Materia Medica have been suggested. An aromatic elixir of licorice 
has been one of the most desirable and successful of these attempts, 
and the writer submits a formula which seems to be satisfactory : 

Take of Cinnamon, . . grams, six 

Star anise, 
Caraway, . 

Cloves, all in fine powder, 
Ammoniacal glycyrrhizin, 
Oil of orange (fresh), 
Alcohol, . 

f four 

' seven 

' seven 

' four 

' two 

4 two 

' two 

' forty 

;< two 

( five hundred and thirty-two 

' one thousand 

il four hundred and seventy-five 

■22,1 Bashams Mixture and Hallers Elixir. { km ^™\l% rm ' 

Mix the oil of orange with the alcohol and water and percolate the 
aromatics, recovering one thousand grams of percolate by pouring suf- 
ficient water upon the top to accomplish the purpose. Dissolve the 
ammoniacal glycyrrhizin in a small quantity of boiling water, and add 
to the rest after mixing with the syrup. 

If an agreeable, simple elixir is at hand, the ammoniacal glycyrrhizin 
may be simply dissolved in it, in the proportion of one gram in fifty 
grams of simple elixir. 

If it is desired to administer sulphate of quinia, all that is necessary 
is to sour into a teaspoon or glass a small quantity of the elixir, add 
the sulphate of quinia, and swallow before the bitter salt dissolves to 
any extent ; then follow with a fresh teaspoonful of elixir, and the 
deception is complete. 


Mr. Editor — Inquiry having been made for mistura Basham, I for- 
ward, the formula for insertion in your journal. The favor it has ob- 
tained renders it desirable that it should be published ! in some pharma- 
ceutical journal : 

R. Tinct. ferri chloridi, . . . .3 parts, 

Acidi acetici dil., .... 4 parts, 

Liq. ammonii acetatis, . . . .32 parts, 

Curacoa, ..... 8 parts, 

Syrupi cortic. aurantii, . . . .12 parts, 

Aquae q. s.', ft., .... 64 parts. 

Under the names of Elixir Halleri and Tinctura Halleri the follow- 
ing mixture has been much prescribed, which is officinal in the Ger- 
man Pharmacopoeia, as Mixtura sulfuric a acida : 

R. Acid sulphuric, . . . .1 parr, 

Alcohol ('835), ... 3 parts. 

These are parts by weight, and if made by volume the following 
quantity should be taken : 

Acid sulphuric, .... f34-4 
Alcohol, .... f3z8f 

Yours, &c, Thos. S. Wiegand. 

1 See also formula in this journal, 1876, p. 137. 

Am May"x8 7 h 7 arm- } Ointment of Oxide of Zinc.— Formulas. 233 


By James Ruan, Ph.G. 

The present formula in the " U. S. Pharmacopoeia " for Ungt. 
Zinci Ox. does not seem to meet the favor of some pharmaceutists on 
account of the tediousness of the process and the time consumed in 
its manipulation. Recently, in the " Druggists' Circular," a formula 
was recommended which, no doubt, may produce an excellent result, 
but too marked a departure from that of the " Pharmacopoeia," in any 
preparation, is to be condemned. A.nd I cannot see that the amount 
of labor involved in the preparation is "reduced in comparison with that 
in the officinal. What is surprising is that there should be so much 
trouble in its preparation by some pharmaceutists. 

Some use a large mortar to grind the zinc into the lard, others exer- 
cise themselves with a paint mill, and lastly, another has gone into the 
kitchen and seized upon the flat-iron as the instrument par excellence 
to attain his purpose ; and yet all seemed to have overlooked a very 
simple element found in every drug store, viz. : aqua. 

The following process, I think, will be found to answer all purposes, 
producing a preparation free from all roughness and unequaled for 
smoothness : 

Rub the 80 grains of oxide of zinc with about fgss of water, on a 
tile, with a spatula, into a smooth paste, then incorporate the 400 
grains of ointment of benzoin. 

If a larger quantity is desired to keep on hand, the whole may be 
turned into an evaporating dish, placed on a water bath, applying a 
gentle heat to drive off excess of water, and stirring until cool, lastly 
adding the tincture of benzoin. 


By the Editor. 

We find in the French journals a number of formulas, which have 
been discussed before the pharmaceutical society of Paris, and from 
which we make the following selections : 

Thymic Acid. — Add solution of potassa or soda to oil of thyme, 
agitate well for some time, separate from the uncombined hydro- 
carbon, decompose the alkaline solution by hydrochloric acid, wash 
the oily liquid with water, and purify by distillation. Thymic acid, or 

234 Formulas. { km d™\ p £' m - 

thymol, thus prepared, is liquid, of a weak odor of thyme, little soluble 
in water, freely soluble in alcohol, possesses caustic properties, and has 
the composition C 10 H u O. 

Solution of thymic acid (i per mille).- — Dissolve one gram of 
thymic acid in four grams of stronger alcohol, and add 995 grams of 
water. This solution is employed in lotions, injections, inhalations, etc. 

Crystallized aconitia. — Powdered aconite root is exhausted by 
strong alcohol, containing one per cent, of tartaric acid ; the liquid is 
distilled at a moderate heat, contact with the air being avoided ; the 
residue is taken up with water to remove fatty and resinous substances, 
and then agitated with ether to remove coloring matter. An alkaline 
bicarbonate is now added to the acid aqueous solution until efferves- 
cense ceases, after which it is agitated with ether, the etherial liquid 
concentrated and mixed with some light petroleum benzin, when the 
aconitia will be obtained in colorless rhombic or hexagonal tables which 
are soluble in alcohol, ether, benzol and chloroform, and insoluble in 
glycerin and the oils of petroleum. It composition is represented by 
C 27 H J0 NO 10 . 

Crystallized nitrate of aconitia is readily obtained by neutral- 
izing nitric acid, sp. grav. 1*42, with the alkaloid and concentrating the 
solution j the crystals are voluminous. 

Apomorphia. — One part of pure morphia and twenty parts of pure 
hydrochloric acid are introduced into a strong tubular glass vessel 
having at least fifteen times the capacity of the mixture \ the open end 
is then carefully sealed, the tube introduced into a metallic tube, closed 
by a screw cap, and the whole immersed for three hours in an oil 
bath, heated to between 140 and I50°C. (near 300°F.) After cooling, 
the tube is opened (no gas being disengaged), the liquid diluted with 
water, and bicarbonate of sodium added in excess, whereby apomorphia 
mixed with morphia is precipitated. The liquid is decanted, and the 
precipitate exhausted by ether (or chloroform ?), which dissolves only 
the apomorphia. The etherial solution is mixed with a few drops of 
hydrochloric acid to precipitate crystalline chlorhydrate of apomorphia,. 
the crystals are rapidly washed with some cold water, and recrystallized 
from boiling water. To obtain the new alkaloid from this hydrochlor- 
ate, its concentrated aqueous solution is precipitated by bicarbonate of 
sodium, the white precipitate is rapidly washed with a little cold water 
and at once dried. 

Am. Jour. Pharm. 
May, 1877. 



Thus prepared, apomorphia is a greyish amorphous powder, which 
is pretty freely soluble in water, the solution rapidly turning green in 
contact with air ; its solution in syrup, kept in well closed vials, 
does not undergo this change. It is distinguished from morphia by its 
complete solubility in ether and benzol ; it is reddened by nitric acid, 
and turns brown with iodic acid, but ferric chloride imparts a rose (not 
a blue) color. Composition, C 17 H 17 N0 2 . 

Monobromated camphor is recommended to be prepared by pour- 
ing upon camphor contained in a retort a thin stream of bromine until 
the camphor is liquefied, heating by a water bath until bromhydric acid 
ceases to be given off, and crystallizing the residue from boiling alcohol. 

Cataplasm of Fucus crispus. — A sheet of carded wadding is 
evenly spread out, a concentrated mucilaginous infusion of Fucus crispus 
(Irish Moss) poured on it, and th : s covered with another sheet of wadding 
of the same size. By beating lightly with a brush, the jelly is made to 
penetrate the wadding very evenly, and the whole is exposed to the 
moderate heat of a drying closet until the water has been expelled, 
when it resembles a sheet of thick cotton and has acquired no odor. 
When intended for use, sufficient of the wadding is placed in a large 
plate and moistened with nearly boiling water, whereby the jelly swells 
considerably, the saturated solution of the emollient principles of the 
fucus remaining inclosed in the wadding. 

Syrup of Chlorhydrophosphate of Calcium. — 12*50 grams cal- 
cium phosphate (prepared by precipitating chloride of calcium with 
phosphate of sodium) are diffused in 340 grams distilled water, and just 
sufficient (about 8 grams) hydrochloric acid added to dissolve the cal- 
cium salt; 630 grms. white sugar are dissolved in the liquid without 
heat, and 10 grms. essence of lemon mixed with the strained syrup. 

Syrup of lactophosphate of calcium is prepared, like the preced- 
ing, from 12*50 grm. calcium phosphate, sufficient (about 14 grms.) 
cocentrated lactic acid, 340 grms. distilled water, 630 grms. sugar, and 
10 grms. essence of lemon. 

Syrup of acid phosphate of calcium is prepared in precisely the 
same manner, only substituting for the acid a just sufficient quantity 
(about 18 grams) of phosphoric acid, sp. grav. 1*45. 

The solutions corresponding to the three syrups above are made by 
employing 17 grams of the calcium phosphate, increasing the cones- 



f Am. Jour. Pharm. 
\ May, 1877. 

ponding acid in proportion, and using enough distilled water to make 
the whole weigh 1,000 grams. 

Glycerite of Sucrate of Calcium. — Mix 80 grams of burned lime 
with 160 of sugar, and add in small quantities, gradually, 700 grms. of 
water. After 24 hours, filter, add to the filtrate 160 grms. glycerin, 
and enough water to make 1 liter. 

Liniment of Sucrate of Calcium. — Olive oil, 200 grms. ; glyce- 
rite of sucrate of calcium, 100 grms. Mix. 

Infusion of Coca. — Coca leaves 10 grms., boiling water 1,000 grms. 

Wine of Coca. — Bruised coca leaves 30 grms., 60 per cent, alco- 
cohol 60 grms., macerate for 24 hours ; then add wine (vin de Lunel) 
1,000 grms., macerate for 10 days with frequent agitation, and filter. 

Elixir of Coca. — Coca leaves 100 grms., 60 per cent, alcohol 600 
grms., macerate for 10 days, express strongly, and mix the liquid with 
400 grms. simple syrup. Filter. 

Extract of coca is made by displacement with 60 per cent, alco- 
hol, and evaporation to a soft extract. 

Syrup of Coca. — Coca leaves 100 grms., boiling water 1,000 grms., 
infuse for 24 hours, express, filter and dissolve 175 grms. sugar in 
each 100 grms. of the filtrate. 

Iodinized Cotton. — 2 grms. of finely-powdered iodine is sprinkled 
over 25 grms. of cotton as uniformly as possible, which is then intro- 
duced into a wide- mouthed glass stoppered bottle that had been kept 
for a few minutes in nearly boiling water to expel some air.- The 
stopper is then securely fastened and the bottle heated for at least two 
hours to a temperature of ioo°C, until the cotton has become uni- 
formly impregnated with the iodine. The bottle must be allowed to 
cool before it is opened, and the cotton, which contains 8 per cent, of 
iodine, must be kept in glass- stoppered vials (see also "Amer. Journ. 
Pharm.," 1876, p. 131). 

Diastase. — Malt, of which the germ has attained two-thirds the 
length of the barley grain, and dried at 50°C, is ground, macerated at 
the ordinary temperature for 5 or 6 hours with twice its weight of 
water, then expressed, filtered and the liquid mixed with twice its 
bulk of 95 per cent, of alcohol. The precipitate is collected, spread 
in thin layers upon plates of glass, and rapidly dried in a current of air 
at a temperature of 45°C. 

8*5 grm. of diastase added to 200 grm. of paste containing 10 grm. 
of starch yield a liquid which filters very readily and decolorizes five 
limes its volume of Fehling's solution. 

Am Ma°y, r ^7 h 7 arm '} Adulterations in Oleum Theobromx. 237 



By Edward Lamhofer, Ph.G. 
{Abstract from an Inaugural Essay.) 

As the purity of some of the commercial samples of cacao-butter has 
lately been suspected, I have made, at the suggestion and under the 
direction of Prof. Maisch, an investigation of the article, with a view 
of ascertaining its fusing point, adulterations and mode of detection. My 
first object was to procure an oil of doubtless purity, which I could use 
as a standard in my researches. This I obtained by packing the finely- 
ground seeds of the principal commercial varieties of cacao into a long 
conical percolator, and extracting the fat by means of petroleum-benzin. 
The benzin was then removed by spontaneous evaporation, and the oil 
purified by melting it and filtering, while hot, through paper. The 
yield of oil by this process varied from 38 to 51 per cent., viz. : 
Guayaquil, 46 per cent.; Carracas, 38 per cent.; San Blass, 45 per cent., 
and Balli, 51 per cent. 

Guayaquil, Carracas, San Blass and Maracaibo are generally used here 
in the manufacture of chocolate, and it is from these varieties that we 
obtain our commercial oil. The species called " Balli " is from the 
small island (Balli) east of Java, and was obtained from the Dutch 
Department of the Centennial Exposition. In order to ascertain the 
fusing point, the oil was melted and drawn up in capillary tubes of the 
thickness of a knitting needle, and about one and a half inch in length. 
To get the oil completely congealed and hardened, the tubes were ex- 
posed to a freezing temperature for several days. As it was my in- 
tention to ascertain if and in what measure the fusing point could be 
used as a criterion for the purity of the oil, I tried also several com- 
mercial samples and samples which 1 adulterated with mutton- and 
beef-suet. The results were as follows : Guayaquil melted at gi°F. ; 
Carracas at 91*5°; San Blass at 90 ; Balli at 89*5°; commercial sam- 
ple A at 90 ; commercial sample B at 91*5°; Carracas contaminated 
with 5 per cent, mutton suet at 91*5°; Carracas with 5 per cent, beef 
suet at 91 , and Carracas with 20 per cent, beef suet at 85 . 

The fusing point varies between 89 and 9i*5°F. The British 
" Pharmacopoeia " and some standard works in this country place the 
fusing point erroneously at I22°F. I came to the conclusion that the 
fusing point, as a means for determining any adulteration of the oil, 

238 Adulterations in Oleum Theobroma. } Am Aly]\l% rm - 

cannot be relied on, as an amount of animal fat from 5 to 10 per cent, 
is not indicated at all, and a larger adulteration is not likely to occur, 
as the taste and odor would be sufficient to betray such a gross sophis- 

To ascertain the purity of the different oils, I applied Bjorklund's 
lest as given in the " Pharmaceutische Zeitschrift fiir Russland," 1863- 
1864, p. 401. This is done by dissolving in a test-tube 5 grs. of the 
oil in 10 grs. of purified ether, 0728, shaking the mixture until 
the solution becomes clear, and then immersing the tube in water of 
the temperature of 32°F. By this method I obtained the following 
results : Balli, After i\ minutes the fat commenced to crystallize out 
in small granules of the size of a pinhead ; after 10 minutes, the solu- 
tion was still transparent and the separation of crystals continued with 
increased rapidity, forming on top of the solution, and then falling to 
the bottom ; after 30 minutes the whole of the fat had crystallized out. 
Left at a temperature of 58°F. for several hours, the oil became re- 
dissolved, forming a yellowish and perfectly transparent solution. 

Carracas. The separation of crystals commenced after three minutes, 
they being somewhat larger than in the preceding ; after ten minutes 
the same phenomenon as in Balli ; after thirty-eight minutes the con- 
tents of the tube became solidified, re-dissolving after standing at the 
temperature of 58°F. 

Guayaquil. Crystals appeared in the clear solution after five minutes. 
The complete separation and re-dissolving took place as in the two 
preceding varieties. 

San Blass and commercial sample A behaved the same as Carracas. 

Commercial sample B was more than five years old, and of a rancid 
odor and taste. The formation of those minute crystals occurred only 
after fifteen minutes, and it took nearly an hour before the whole be- 
came crystallized. 

I tried also the behavior of mutton suet and commercial stearin dis- 
solved in ether, and subjected to the same test, and observed that 
neither one of them gave a clear solution with ether, but formed a 
mixture resembling an emulsion. 

Dissimular was the result I obtained with mixtures of these fats and 
pure cacao-butter. Thus, a mixture of 50 per cent, of either one with 
the latter gave as clear a solution as pure oil, which, however, on immers- 
ing in water congealed nearly at once. Oil, which I adulterated with 

Am May, r 'i8 > 7 h 7 arm '} Adulterations in Oleum Theobrom*. 239 

5 per cent, of suet, became cloudy in two minutes after dissolving in 
ether and exposing to water of 32°F. ; the cloudiness gradually be- 
came more intense and increased, until after ten minutes a few crystals 
of cacao-butter separated out of the milky liquid. In forty minutes the 
separation of the oil was complete. Leaving the tube stand at a tem- 
perature of 58 F., unlike the pure oil, it did not re-dissolve to a 
transparent solution, but preserved a remarkable cloudy appearance. 
In a sample contaminated with 2 per cent, of stearin, the solution acted 
similar, with the exception that the turbidity was not quite so intense. 

I further tried the behavior of pure cacao butter and mixtures of 
this oil and stearin in solutions of petrolem benzin, forming a mixture 
in the same proportion as with ether. I obtained with this solvent 
nearly the same results, differing only in this respect, that the separa- 
tion of crystals in pure solutions occurs somewhat slower, and adulter- 
ated oils when subjected to this test do not become completely sepa- 
rated when immersed in water, even when left in there for several 
hours ; while the solutions in ether solidify generally between thirty 
and forty minutes. The methods which indicate the purity or adulte- 
ration of the oil may be summarized as follows : Pure cacao dissolves 
entirely in ether or benzin, separating out in minute granular crystals 
when immersed in water of 32 F., the liquid portion remaining trans- 
parent until, after thirty or forty minutes, the whole of it is solidified. 
2d. When, after solidification/the oil is left to remain at a tempera- 
ture of about 58 F., it will redissolve, forming a transparent solution. 

Adulterations with animal fats are indicated, 1st, by the cloudy 
appearance of the solution which follows after immersing in water of 
32 F. ; 2d, by the slow and incomplete congeal me nt of the oil when 
subjected to the test with petroleum benzin. 

The amount of sophistication is shown, 1st, by the more or less 
intense cloudiness, and by the slow or rapid formation of it with the 
above test. Largely adulterated oils congeal almost instantly, while 
the turbidity of a solution with 2 per cent, of stearin becomes visible 
only after two minutes. 

2d. By the more or less complete congealment of the oil when 
treated with petroleum benzin. 

3d. By the more or less intense cloudiness of a congealed solution 
when left for twelve hours at 58 F. If largely adulterated, the mix- 
ture will not become liquid at all at that temperature. 

240 Examination of a Cure for Love of Liquor. { Am May ; r ' 1 8 > 7 h 7 arm 

The reason for the different behavior of adulterated oils is found in the 
fact that pure cacao butter when subjected to this test separates from its 
solution in minute granular crystals, which are gradually formed, while 
animal fats, under the same circumstances, congeal at once and " en 
masse." When, therefore, mixtures of these fats are tested in this 
way, the animal fat will separate at once, causing a turbidity, and 
thereby delaying or obscuring the formation of the small crystals of 
cacao butter. 

The opaqueness of sophisticated oil, when the mixtures are left at 
58 F., seems to be due to the insolubility of animal fat in ether or 
benzin at that temperature, remaining undissolved in the clear solution 
of cacao butter, and thus indicating even a minute quantity of such 



By John M. Maisch. 

During the winter of 1873-74, I received a small sample of a white 
powder, accompanied by a printed slip, stating that the powders had 
been known in Germany for a long period as " Das wunderbare Beil- 
mittel," the wonderful remedy, and that they had been the acknowl- 
edged instrument of rescuing many thousands from the graves of drunk- 
ards. Regarding their effects and use the directions stated : 

u The peculiar effect of this remedy is to gradually remove that terrible knawing 
sensation of the vitals spoken of 5 imparting by its action a natural, healthful tone 
and vigor to the whole nervous system, and promoting a desire for hearty, generous 
food, which should be freely supplied. Soups, stews or roasts of oysters, clams or 
other shell fish, have proved to be very valuable allies with the action of the pow- 
ders. Hot coffee or tea, with their smoking aromatic odors greeting the appetite 
of the patient on first rising in the morning, or when coming to reason after a de- 
bauch, have, in very many instances, aided the remedy in its good work, and as- 
sisted in warding off desires for alcoholic stimulants. 

u These powders are so compounded that (being first dissolved) they may be ad- 
ministered in coffee, tea or ordinary drink to the person whom it is desired shall be 
cured, and should be given during his or her sober intervals. 1 ' 

The originator was one Dr. Henry Zell, who sold them at first at 
the rate of $3.00 per dozen, but cc with the view of doing greater good 
to a greater number," offered them then at $1.00 per dozen, or $5-00 
for six dozen. 

It had been the intention to make a quantitative analysis, but an ap- 

Am. Jour. Pharm. 
May, 1877. 

An Explanation, 


plication for one or two unopened powders was not responded to, and 
the quantity received being quite minute, it was barely sufficient for a 
few qualitative experiments which were made by Mr. Wm. L. Harri- 
son, of Petersburg, Va., who reported his results as follows : 

u The powder was partly soluble in water. The solution, like the 
powder, had a purely sweet taste, and on the application of Trommer's 
test a brick-red precipitate of cuprous oxide was obtained, showing the 
presence of sugar. The undissolved white powder dissolved readily on 
the addition of dilute acid with slight effervescence, indicating a carbon- 
ate. Of bases, magnesium alone was found. A second portion of the 
original powder was ignited, and the white residue dissolved by a drop 
of hydrochloric acid ; the solution was not affected by sulphuretted 
hydrogen or sulph-hydrate of ammonium j carbonate of ammonium 
produced a white precipitate, which was completely soluble in chloride 
of ammonium, and again precipitated by phosphate of ammonium. 
The liquid filtered from this precipitate, evaporated and ignited, left no 
residue. The powder, therefore, consists of sugar as the main ingre- 
dient, with a little magnesium carbonate." 

It will be seen from these few experiments that a brisk sale of these 
powders would benefit that celebrated doctor's pocket, at least to the 
same extent as a good dose of magnesia would assist in restoring a 
toper after a debauch, particularly when combined with " hot coffee or 
tea." Although that doctor is not quite correct in asserting the pow- 
ders to be " vegetable in their nature," yet we believe him when he 
warrants them " never to sicken the patient," and to be " entirely 


Philadelphia, April 12, 1877. 
Editor American 'Journal of Pharmacy : 

My attention has been called to an unlooked-for interpretation of a 
sentence in my paper, headed "Adulterations," which was published in 
the March number of the "Journal." On page 130, after alluding to a 
firm of this city, I continue thus : " It is but a repetition of that of 
many others," and this has been construed to refer likewise to " this 
city," an interpretation which I confess might be given to the sentence, 
but which was not in the least intended. I can hardly believe that 
any of your readers should have accepted the erroneous construction 


242 Gleanings from the Foreign Journals, { A %£^i8 7 h 7 ? rm 

as having been designed by me ; but, to guard against any possible 
imputation, and knowing as I do that the manufacturing and wholesale 
drug houses of this city compare favorably in character and integrity with 
those of any other city of our country, I would request you to bring 
this explanation to the notice of your readers, and oblige 

Yours, etc., Rich. V. Mattison. 


By the Editor. 

Detection of Free Mineral Acid in Vinegar. — Vinegar alwavs* 
contains organic salts of the alkalies, which on evaporation and incin- 
eration are converted into carbonates. By the addition to the vinegar 
of a mineral acid in sufficient quantity, these salts are decomposed, and 
on evaporation and ignition the ash left will have a neutral instead of 
an alkaline reaction. Based upon these considerations, the following 
method for the estimation of free mineral acid has been devised by 
Otto Hehner : 50 cc. of the vinegar are mixed with 25 cc. of deci- 
normal soda solution, or with a sufficient quantity so that on evapora- 
tion and incineration an ash having an alkaline reaction is left ; the 
residue is dissolved in decinormal sulphuric acid corresponding to the 
soda solution, boiled to expel carbonic acid, filtered, the filter washed 
with water, the liquid reddened by litmus and neutralized by decinor- 
mal soda solution, the volume of which indicates directly the propor- 
tion of free mineral acid present, 100 cc. of the standard solution cor- 
responding to o*49 gram of H 2 S0 4 . 

The same process is likewise applicable fcr the determination of free 
mineral acid in lime- and lemon-juice. — Phar. Jour, and Trans., Nov. 
11, 1876, from the Analyst. 

Purification and Uses of Petroleum. — M. Masson, pharmacies 
of Lyons, has succeeded in removing the disagreeable odor of petro- 
leum by the following process: Into a vessel containing 100 kilos of 
petroleum are separately introduced, by means of a long funnel, 60 
grams each of sulphuric and nitric acid, and 500 grams of stronger 
alcohol are carefully poured upon the surface of the petroleum. The 
alcohol gradually sinks to the bottom, and when coming into contact 
with the acids heat is developed and some effervescence takes place,, 
but not in proportion to the quantity of the liquids. Etherial products 

Am May"'i87 h 7 arm '} Gleanings from the Foreign Journals. 243 

of a very agreeable odor are formed, and the substances thus treated 
acquire an analogous odor, at the same time becoming yellowish in 
color. The operation lasts about an hour, after which the liquids are 
thoroughly agitated for some minutes with water, and after resting for 
eight or ten hours the purified petroleum is drawn off. 

The lower stratum, which is a mixture of the acids, water and alco- 
hol, may be used for deodorizing the heavy oils of petroleum, by agi- 
tating them well for twenty minutes, and after twelve hours washing 
the oil twice with milk of lime, to remove the free acids. It will then 
have the same, but a weaker odor, as the light petroleum first treated, 
and answers well for lubricating purposes. 

Petroleum thus purified may be used in pharmacy for many purposes. 
All the tinctures for external use may be prepared with it, like the 
tincture of arnica, alkannet and camphor; it may be used for dissolv- 
ing ether and chloroform, like alcohol, and, combined with fats or gly- 
cerin, promises to be of great utility in the treatment of skin diseases 
and for other purposes. 

The author calculates that alcohol is annually used in French phar- 
macy amounting in value to at least two million francs, of which about 70 
per cent., representing an annual expenditure of 1,400,000 francs, might 
very properly be replaced by this purified petroleum, which will also 
undoubtedly find many industrial applications. — Rep. de Phar., 1876, 
P- 742. 

Generation of Sulphurous Acid for use as a Disinfectant. — 
Thos. W. Keates proposes for this purpose to burn carbon bisulphide 
in a suitable lamp, either pure or mixed with fixed oils or liquid hydro- 
carbons, such as petroleum ; 100 grs. of carbon bisulphide will thus 
yield 168 grs. or 245 cubic inches of sulphurous acid. In a room con- 
taining 7,300 cubic feet, it was found that by burning 280 grs. of the 
bisulphide the atmosphere was so far charged with sulphurous acid 
that it was impossible to remain in the room for more than a few seconds. 

The boiling point of carbon bisulphide being as low as no°F., it is 
necessary that the lamp in which it is burned should be furnished with 
a well-fitting screw cap. — Cbem. News, Dec. 8, 1876, from the Lancet, 

Thos. Stevenson avers that he has used that method for generating 
sulphurous acid for nearly seven years, and that no special form of 
lamp is required, but that an ordinary porcelain or copper dish may be 
used and the liquid in it ignited with a match. Instead of generating 

244 An Adulteration of Aconite Root. { Am ^-J 7 ^ rm 

280 grs. of sulphurous acid, he recommends at least five times the 
quantity named above, so that the room might contain one-tenth per 
cent, of the disinfecting gas. — Ibid y Dec. 15. 

Spiritus Formicarum Containing Lead. — A. Geheeb reports 
having met with this spirit, which is still often used as a domestic 
remedy in some parts of Germany, containing considerable lead, which 
was probably dissolved from the cooler. — Archiv d. Phar., Jan., 1877, 



By E. M. Holmes, F.L.S., 

Curator of the Museum of the Pharmaceutical Society. 

Aconite root possesses such powerful properties that it is very im- 
portant the medicinal article should be, as far as possible, of uniform 
strength and quality. Yet this is by no means the case, for it is diffi- 
cult to find in a commercial sample one root in a dozen which upon 
fracture appears sound and in good condition. This is due, according 
to Hanbury, to its being gathered indiscriminately by peasants, who 
regard neither the most advantageous time for collection, nor the proper 
species. This is not to be wondered at, considering that the wholesale 
price in this country is as low as 6d. per. lb. As the root is sold by 
the German peasants to buyers who obtain a profit by supplying whole- 
sale dealers in Germany, and these again have to obtain a profit before 
it is exported to this country, it is obvious that the prices paid to the 
peasants must be too small to pay for careful collection. 

In some districts aconite root is said to be gathered by intelligent 
herb and root collectors, who are well acquainted with the plants they 
gather, but what is collected by them is probably retained for home 
consumption, and the inferior samples exported. 

From the cheapness of the root, and from the fact that few roots 
have the distinctly conical appearance of aconite, it is evident that it 
would scarcely pay to adulterate it. Adulteration, then, must either 
result from careless collection or from accidental admixture. 

The root which has lately been found mixed with aconite is that of 
Masterwort Imperatoria Ostruthium, Lin., an umbelliferous plant, offi- 
cial in the Edinburgh Pharmacopoeia so late as 1792. It is a native of 
mountainous countries, and grows in similar districts to those in which 
aconite is found. As it is still official in the German Pharmacopoeia, 
its accidental occurrence in aconite root from Germany is not surprising. 

Its value in this country is double that of aconite root, and it is 

Am. Jour. Pharm. i 
May, 1877 J 

An Adulteration of Aconite Root. 

2 45 

obvious, therefore, that it has not been purposely used as an adulteration. 

In the sample examined the masterwort root amounted to about 
5 per cent. 

The characters by which it may be distinguished from aconite root 
are as follows : 

The rootstock, Fig. 1, for it is. properly so called, is less tapering 
than aconite root, is slightly compressed, and exhibits several warty 
zones, indicating periods of growth. In some specimens these are 
much less prominent than in others, but can always be traced. The 
whole of the rootstock is finely 
wrinkled transversely, so as to give 
it a somewhat annulated appear- 
ance. The transverse section 
presents very marked characters. 
The central portion is of a yellow- 
ish white color, and exhibits a 
more or less complete ring of 
brownish dots. The portion next 
the bark presents elongated dots 
of a paler color, which give this 
portion of the section a radiate 
appearance. With the aid of a lens 
these dots are seen to be filled 
with an oily or resinous substance. 
The cortical portion is very thin. 
The rootstock has an odor com- 
parable to bruised ivy leaves, or 
to the plant commonly known as 
cow parsley (Chceropkyllum sylvestre, Lin. 
bitter taste. 

Aconite root is very variable in appearance internally ; frequently 
the centre is quite hollow. Some pieces have a brownish color, others 
are white and starchy, and a few present a resinous fracture. In a 
sound root, however, which is usually starchy or slightly resinous, a 
faint line may generally be traced, which marks out the meditullium. 
This line has usually five to nine prominent angles, see Fig. 2, the 

*In the wood-cuts the roots are represented of the natural size 5 the sections are 
shown both of the natural size and magnified. 

Fig. 1. Imperatoria Ostruthium, Lin. 1 
and a pungent, slightly 


An Adulteration of Aconite Root. 

( Am. Jour. Pharm. 
\ May, 1877. 

number of angles being larger as the section approaches the top of the 
root. If the root be wetted and examined with a lens, the line is seen 
to consist of an irregular line of vessels, which form small bundles in 
the apex of the projecting angles. The cortical portion occupies 
nearly half of the circumference of the root. 

From the above characters it will be observed that the presence of 
oil receptacles in the masterwort root at once distinguishes it from 
aconite. A spirituous tincture of masterwort, when dropped into 
water, gives a blue fluorescence, resembling that of quinia, and a slight 

milkiness, and communi- 
cates to the water its pecu- 
liar odor. By these char- 
acters its presence might 
probably be detected in a 
mixture containing tinc- 
ture of aconite. 

Although the small per- 
centage in the sample ex- 
amined would lead to but 
very slight diminution of 
strength in the tincture of 
aconite made from it, yet 
the appearance and odor 
communicated to a mix- 
ture containing such a tinc- 
ture might lead to much 
inconvenience in pharma- 

Aconitum Napellus i Lin. 

and throw discredit 

upon the dispensing department. 

It is quite time that the attention of cultivators of medicinal plants 
in this country should be drawn to the bad quality of the imported 
root, and that attempts should be made to cultivate it extensively in 
this country. It is very probable that, as in the case of henbane, a 
good article would command a fairly remunerative price. It is obvious, 
also, that until it is possible to obtain a plentiful supply of the roots of 
Aconitum Napellus, free from any admixture of other species, it will not 
be possible to obtain an accurate knowledge of the alkaloids contained 
in that species. — Phar. Jour, and Trans., March 17, 1877. 


Am. Jour. Pharm. \ 
May, 1877. J 

On Ostruthin. 



By E. von Gorup-Besanez. 

This body was discovered by the author in 1874 (see Proceedings 
American Pharmaceutical Association, 1875, p. 453), in the root of 
Imperatoria ostruthium. The following is an outline of the process 
by which the largest yield has been obtained : 

The young roots of masterwort, 1 to 2 years old, are cut and 
digested with 90 per cent, alcohol at 50 to 6o°C. until the liquid ceases 
to become colored ; the mixed tinctures are distilled to one-third, and 
this then evaporated until on cooling a thick liquid remains. This 
residue is exhausted by a mixture of three parts of ether and one of 
ligroin, of low boiling point, until a firm plaster-like mass remains. 
The solution is mixed with more ligroin, which separates a brown 
sticky mass, and the decanted liquor is evaporated spontaneously from 
flat dishes, and if necessary decanted from the oily sediment forming. 
Yellow crystals are afterwards deposited, which are freed from adher- 
ing resinous matter by spreading them upon porous plaster tiles. The 
crystals are then dissolved in ether, the solution again mixed with some 
ligroin, freed from the deposited oily matter, and evaporated spon- 
taneously. Repeated recrystallization from ether yields larger but still 
yellow crystals, which are obtained white by dissolving them in alcohol 
and adding water until a permanent precipitate begins to appear. 

Ostruthin crystallizes from ether in the triclinic system, the crystals 
resembling rhombohedrons. It fuses at H5°C. and congeals at 9I°C. 
to a wax-like mass, becoming crystalline ; is inodorous, tasteless, burns 
with bright smoky flame, and yields by dry destination a thick yellow- 
ish oil, with an odor resembling Canada balsam. It is insoluble in 
cold water, sparingly soluble in benzol and petroleum benzin and freely 
soluble in alcohol and ether. The alcoholie solution has a faint blue 
fluorescence, which becomes magnificently blue on the addition of 
water ; more water precipitates it. All its solutions are neutral and 
optically inactive. Its composition is C 14 H 17 2 . 

Ostruthin hydrochlorate, C 14 H 17 2 HC1, is obtained by passing 
muriatic acid gas into a not very dilute alcoholic solution of ostruthin, 
which congeals ; the mass is then washed with water and crystallized 
from ether. It forms white, tasteless and inodorous needles, soluble 
in alcohol, ether, benzol and chloroform, less in petroleum benzin. 

2 4 8 

Ava> or Kava-Kava. 

f Am. Jour. Pharm, 
\ May, 1877. 

Ostruthin hydrobromate is prepared in the same way, but on 
attempting to crystallize from ether, it was decomposed, bromine being 

A combination with hydriodic acid could not be obtained, owing 
to the liberation of iodine. 

Among the products of decomposition obtained by adding ostruthin 
to fusing potassa, resorcin was found. Treated with strong nitric acid, 
it is first converted into a resinous body and finally into oxalic acid ; 
but when boiled for a long time with nitric acid, diluted with three parts 
of water, it yields styphnic and a little oxalic acid. 

Chlorine yields with difficulty, bromine more readily, substitution 
compounds. — Liebig's Ann. d. Chetn.^ clxxxiii, p. 321-343. 


1. Superficial longitudinal section of root, 
showing the meshes of wood beneath 
the thin bark. 

Forst., indigenous to New Zealan 
is known there as kava-kava, but is 


This plant, Piper methysticum y 
Miq., is cultivated in Tahiti, Ha- 
waii and many other islands of 
the Pacific Ocean, and is known 
there under the names of yaquona y 
ava-ava^ kawa and kava-kava. 
It is a shrub about 6 feet high, 
with branches attaining a thickness 
of 1 to ij inches. Leaves 4 to 
8 inches long, nearly as wide,, 
cordate with a short acumination, 
apparently smooth, but under the 
magnifier appearing covered with 
short hairs mainly upon the 
veins, 10 to 12 ribbed with the 
three central veins usually close 
together for about half an inch ; 
petiole 1 to ij inch long, dila- 
ted at the base. Piper excehum, 
i, resembles the former plant, and 
used only as tea and against tooth- 

condensed from the " Pharmac. Jour, and Trans.," Aug. 19, 1876, and from 
" Phar. Zeitschr. f. Russ.," Oct. ; the cuts from " New Remedies." — Editor. 

Am. Jour. Pharm. ) 
May, 1877. J 

Ava, or Kava-Kava. 

ache. Its leaves are usually about half the size of the former, and 
are 5 to 7 ribbed. 

The fresh root weighs 2 to 4 lbs., occasionally even 20 lbs., and 
loses more than half its weight on drying. It is large and fibrous, 
but rather light and spongy. Underneath the very thin greyish- 
brown bark a net-work of the woody tissue becomes apparent, 
the meshes being filled with a yellowish-white cellular tissue, while 
some are quite empty. A variety known as marea is lemon-yellow,, 
and another, called avini-ute, flesh-colored internally. 

The transverse section shows numerous linear wood bundles radiat- 
ing from near the centre and separated from each other by broader soft 
medullary rays ; the soft central portion oontains but few anastomizing 
wood bundles, which form a net-work and are placed at right angles 
to the radiating bundles. The agreeable odor of the root reminds of lilac 
(Syringa vulgaris^ L.) and meadow-sweet (Spircea ulmaria, L.). It has a 
faintly pungent and scarcely perceptible bitter taste, increases the flow of 
saliva, and produces a slight astrin- 
gent sensation. 

The root and extreme base of 
the stem are usually employed in 
the form of infusion made by 
macerating a drachm of the scraped 
drug in a quart of water for five 
minutes. Unlike other remedies 
for gonorrhoea, this infusion has 
an agreeable taste ; its slight bit- 
terness increases the appetite and 
does not produce nausea. 

According to Cuzent, the root 
contains a light yellow volatile oil, 
2 per cent, of an acrid resin, and 
about 1 per cent, of an indifferent 
crystalline principle, called kavahin 
or methysticin, which is obtained in needles from a concentrated tinc- 
ture, is colored red by hydrochloric acid, the color changing to bright 
yellow on exposure to the air, and acquires a purplish-violet color 
changing to green, by concentrated sulphuric acid (see, also, "Amer. 
Jour. Phar.," i860, p. 133). 

250 Note on a Piper called Jaborandi. { Am M J ay, r i8 P 7 h 7 arm * 

In small doses, kava acts as a stimulant and tonic, and produces in 
larger doses an intoxication which differs from that produced by alco- 
hol, being characterized by drowsiness and incoherent dreams ; excite- 
ment on hearing noise is said to be produced by the root grown in 
moist soil. Since neither the resin nor kavahin are soluble in water, 
the medicinal properties do not depend upon these principles. It has 
been used with success in erysipelatous affections, but when used as an 
intoxicating drink produces a cutaneous disease, which in Tahiti is 
called arevarea, and appears in old topers in the skin becoming dry, 
cracked and ulcerated. The natives of Nukahivi use kava in phthisis 
and bronchitis, a small dose being taken at bedtime ; it has also been 
locally employed in gout and internally in gonorrhoea since 1857. 

Recently a drug was received from Paris under the name of kava- 
kava, which on examination proved to be composed of matico leaves 
and anatto fruits. (For further information on this drug see "Amer. 
Jour. Phar.," xvi, p. 105, and xxvi, p. 236.) 


By A. Gubler. 

Besides the jaborandi of Dr. Coutinho [Pilocarpus pennatifolius), the 
sialogogue and sudorific properties of which are so remarkable, there 
exists in Brazil, as is known, a large number of plants bearing the same 
popular name, which are used against the bites of serpents, etc. All 
the botanical species, however, are included in two families, Rutaceae 
and Piperaceae. Among the latter, Piper citrifolium and P. reticulatum 
have been mentioned as particularly efficacious. A jaborandi from 
the province of Rio Janeiro, which has been the subject of a note in 
the " Journal de Therapeutique," for November 25th, by Professor 
Gubler, appears to be referable to either of these species, which per- 
haps should be combined in one. 2 

The plant is a shrub, usually attaining, but sometimes considerably 
exceeding, a metre in height. The stems are fasciculated at the base, 
simple and denuded for half their length, cylindrical, very straight and 
articulated like the bamboo ; towards the top they bear dark-green 
leaves that are alternate, shortly petiolate, oval-lanceolate or slightly 

1 "Journal de Pharmacie et de Chimie" [4], vol. xxv, p. 128. 

2 DeCandolle describes the leaves of P. citrifolium as being feather-veined, those 
of P. reticulatum as 7 to 9 nerved and rounded or cordate at base. — Editor. 


Am Ma y U , r x8 P 77 arm '} Note on a Pi P er called Jaborandi. 25 1 

obtuse. In the axils of these are sometimes found catkins of male 
flowers. The figure of the plant is from a sketch drawn by Dr. Jules 
Crevaux. A supply of the plant, collected by Dr. DaVeiga, of the 
Brazilian navy, accompanied the sketch, and has been investigated 
chemically, physiologically and therapeutically. 

According to Prof. Gubler, the entire plant exhales a slightly- 
aromatic odor, which becomes more pronounced upon bruising the 
leaves between the fingers. When chewed, the taste is at first slightly 
acid, then warm and aromatic, and finally very piquant and comparable 
to that of pyrethrum root. This taste is met with in the stems, and 
especially in the roots, where it attains a high degree of intensity, chiefly 
in the moderately large portions, about the size of a crow quill, which 
are externally of a rather decided grey color. The more slender and 
whitish portions are rather insipid, and the finest have hardly any taste 
at all. These differences are dependent upon the constitution and 
thickness of the cortical layer, which appears to be the seat of the 
active principle. 

When a picked fragment of the root is chewed, at first no sensation 
is produced on the palate ; the prickling is first manifested at a short 
interval after the vegetable tissue becomes impregnated with saliva. It 
would appear that the active principle of the drug does not exist ready 
formed in the plant, but is due to a special fermentation in the presence 
of water, similar to that which sets free oil of bitter almonds or oil of 
mustard. When once manifested, the piquancy rapidly acquires great 
energy, being accompanied by painful shootings and vibratory trem- 
blings of the tongue and lips, as though these organs were traversed by 
an electric discharge. At the same time a very active secretion of all 
the buccal glands becomes developed, and especially an extraordinarily 
abundant salivation. These phenomena persist for a few moments 
after the sapid pulp has been rejected, but then decrease and disappear, 
leaving a sensation of freshness and a certain degree of anaesthesia of 
the palate. After a few minutes, however, all the parts return to their 
normal state. 

Upon swallowing the saliva charged with the active principle, an 
impression of heat is produced at the back of the throat, which extends 
to the oesophagus and stomach, where it gives rise to a sensation re- 
sembling hunger. 

The chemical composition has been studied by M. Hardy, who, in 

252 Note on a Piper called Jaborandu { Am d™%™ 7 &rm '' 

some preliminary experiments with infusions, was able to demonstrate 
the presence of an alkaloid. 

Some leaves and stalks were therefore powdered, and left to macer- 
ate for four days with three times their weight of 90 alcohol, acidu- 
lated with 8 grams of hydrochloric acid per liter. The alcohol was 
then decanted and fresh alcohol added, and this was repeated three 
times. The alcoholic solutions were concentrated by distillation, and 
the aqueous solution evaporated and decomposed by ammonia in the 
presence of excess of chloroform. Upon evaporation of the chloro- 
form the base was left free, but still impure. It was therefore treated 
with water acidulated with hydrochloric acid, which dissolved the major 
part of it ; the solution was filtered, evaporated and again decomposed 
by ammonia in the presence of excess of chloroform. Upon evapora- 
tion of the chloroform solution the base was deposited, having a crys- 
talline appearance and slightly-yellowish tint. 

The base presents the characteristic reactions of alkaloids. Its solu- 
tion gave a white precipitate with iodide of mercury and potassium, and 
with iodine in iodide of potassium. Another portion of the leaves was 
distilled with water to obtain the volatile oil, but only a small quantity- 
was collected, insufficient for investigation. 

The alkaloid dissolved easily in water slightly acidulated with hydro- 
chloric acid, and such a solution was used by Dr. Bochefontaine to 
study its physiological action upon animals. He found that it did not 
act upon the heart or influence the muscular contractility ; it was not 
a convulsivant. It appeared to have the power to prevent the mechan- 
ical or electric excitations of the mixed nerves, such as the sciatic, 
from being transmitted to the muscles. It appeared even to possess 
the paralyzing power at the outset, and this property would seem to 
distinguish it with curare. Indeed, the paralyzing action of curare is 
usually preceded by some slight spasmodic movements, which have not 
been observed in frogs poisoned with the alkaloid of false jaborandi. 

Prof. Gubler remarks that the effects observed after the administra- 
tion of the plant to the human subject, although in small doses, had 
not led him to expect so violent an action from the alkaloid of the Rio 
piper. The first experiment, in 1875, with the comparatively fresh 
plant, did not reveal any great activity compared with the excessive 
power of Pilocarpus pennatifolius. Besides the peppery sensation in the 
mouth and throat and the heat in the stomach, doses of 4 to 6 grams 

' §m iS[\t^! m '} Minutes of the Pharmaceutical Meeting. 253 

of the leaves in infusion only caused slight salivation and diaphoresis. 
More recent experiments have been still less fruitful. In a case of 
acute albuminous nephritis its effects were absolutely nil ; whilst, in 
the same patient on the following day, an infusion of 4 grams of Pilo- 
carpus jaborandi in 200 grams of water caused abundant salivation and 
sweating, and an increased excretion of urine. 

From these negative facts Prof. Gubler draws the following con- 
clusions : 

(1) That there exists a striking difference between the mode of 
action of Pilocarpus pennatifolius and of Piper citrifolium. With an in- 
significant topical action the Pilocarpus manifests a diffused action of 
great energy ; the second, though very aggressive to the organs at the 
entrance to the prima; via, appears to be nearly inert when it once 
enters the circulation. 

(2) That this inertia of the Piper is more apparent than real, and 
due to the insufficiency of the doses employed. In future it will be 
desirable to administer larger doses of the leaves, or better still, of the 
root, to obtain physiological effects. 

Bat if the alkaloid discovered by M. Hardy is a certain test of the 
efficacy of the Piper citrifolium, the experiments of M. Bochefontaine 
show that it will be advisable not to seek to obtain the first manifesta- 
tions through the secretions, as the new agent is a poison of the motor 
system closely allied to curare. — Phar. four, and Trans., March jo. 


The College met April 17, at 4 p. m. Mr. A. P. Brown was called to the chair, 
and E. D. Boyer appointed regristrar pro tern. On motion of Prof. Maisch the 
reading of the last minutes was dispensed with. 

Mr. Ch. L. Mitchell exhibited a mineral water from New Zealand, and the annual 
report of the Auckland Institute. Prof. Maisch presented the annual report from 
the Smithsonian Institution of the Board of Regents of that Institution, for the year 
1875 5 from Dr. Weddell, a reprint from Comptes rendus of his essay, in which he 
advocates the use of cinchonidia in place of quinia in the treatment of intermittent 
fevers. Also, from Chas. W. Riley, Consul of the Orange Free State, a handsome 
case from the Centennial Exposition, containing a specimen of the so-called cream 
of tartar fruit, together with a number of seeds and the separated acidulous pulp 5 
also, from the same gentleman, specimens of Japanese chemicals and medicinal 
plants, likewise from the late exhibition, and comprising oxide and sulphate of zinc, 

254 Minutes of the Pharmaceutical Meeting. { Am ^\l^ m ' 

golden sulphuret of antimony, acetate of lead, tartar emetic, sulphate of copper, 
flowers of Malva sylvestris, German chamomile flowers and hops. 

In regard to the cream of tartar fruit, Prof. Maisch stated that it belonged to 
the genus Adansonia^ and probably to A. Gregorii, which is stated to be a native of 
Northern Australia. The fruit is smaller, and the taste of the acidulous pulp differs 
from that of A. digitata, the baobab, of which handsome specimens had been on 
exhibition from Jamaica. In answer to a question he stated that he had not had 
the time yet to ascertain the composition of the pulp. He also called attention to 
the Latin names by which the Japanese chemicals were designated, and which were 
similar to those used in Germany and Holland ; for instance, Zincum oxydatum 

Mr. Mitchell exhibited and explained the uses of a " pill finisher," consisting of 
a circular disk of brass, which is more durable than when made of wood. 

Prof. Maisch presented several samples of Capsule Catapota Plicatiles, which are 
used in Germany to some extent in place of the wafer capsules introduced by Mr. 
Limousin, of Paris. The former are thin, like paper, folded by machinery, and 
being made of gelatin, may be readily closed by moistening the edges, become 
pliable when immersed in water, and may then be swallowed like wafer capsules, 
which latter, however, appear to be more elegant in appearance and more useful in 

Prof. Remington read a paper on u Aromatic Elixir of Licorice " (see page 231)5 
exhibited a sample of the preparation, and showed its effectiveness for disguising 
the bitter taste of sulphate of quinia. Mr. Brown stated that he made such an 
elixir by dissolving 8 grains of ammoniacal glycyrrhizin in 1 fluidounce of simple 
elixir. Inquiry having been made about a compound elixir of eucalyptus, which has 
been recently introduced for the same purpose, it was stated to owe its effects like- 
wise to glycyrrhizin, but appeared to be flavored with oil of eucalyptus, besides other 

Mr. Gaillard read a paper on "Weights and Measures" (see page 226.) Re- 
marks on the adoption of the metric system in medicine and pharmacy in our 
country were made by Professors Maisch and Remington and Mr. Bullock, who 
stated that its general adoption could be secured only by educating medical and 
pharmaceutical students in its use, so that they were able to think in this system 
without the necessity of calculation. 

Prof. Maisch informed the meeting that the tables for converting apothecaries' 
weights and measures into grams, which were calculated by him and published in 
the February number of the " Am. Jour. Phar.," had been copied by the Treasury 
Department at Washington, D. C. Referring to the use of measures in British and 
American pharmacy, he remarked that it would be of interest to trace their adoption 
in Great Britain, since the Edinburg and Dublin Colleges had recognized the use 
of weights for liquids at a time when these were measured by the London College. 

Prof. Maisch also called the attention of the meeting to two low-priced micro- 
scopes, on exhibition, both giving very clear definitions 5 one was a simple micro- 
scope, costing $12 ; the other, a compound microscope, at $35. 

There being no more business before the meeting, a motion to adjourn was 
seconded and carried. Ed. D. Boyer, Registrar pro tern. 

M J a y" r i8 P 77 arm ' } Minutes of the College. 255 


Philadelphia, March 26th, 1877. 

The annual meeting of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy was held this day 
at the Hall of the College, No. 145 North Tenth street. 

Robert Shoemaker, Vice-President, in the absence of the President, occupied the 

Sixteen members were present. 

The minutes of the last meeting were read and approved. 

The minutes of the Board of Trustees for the last three months were read by 
William C Bakes, Secretary of the Board, and, on motion, adopted. 

Letters from Charles Wirgman and J. H. Stein, tendering their resignations as 
members of the College, were read, and, on motion, accepted. 

Thomas S. Wiegand, Librarian, read the following report for the year. It was 
on motion, accepted. 

The Librarian respectfully reports that the work of completing the arrangement of the Library has 
occupied considerable time since the last report. 

There have been received since last report, donations from the Smithsonian Institution, twelve 
annual report* which were not upon our shelves, and three quarto volumes of the "Contributions to 
Knowledge," published by the Institution : twelve quarto volumes of the " Memoirs of the Academy 
of Arts and Sciences of Boston" have been received in exchange for certain volumes of the "Amer- 
ican Journal of Pharmacy;" twenty volumes of works on pharmacy and chemistry have been 
donated by Mr. Chas. Bullock ; the reports of the Commissioner of Education have been received from 
that bureau ; the catalogues of nearly all the different national exhibits at the Centennial Exposition, 
held last year, have been placed in our library, together with four maps, illustrative of the Empire of 
Brazil, which have been mounted properly so as to preserve them. The various exchanges received for our 
"Journal" that possess sufficient permanent value and interest have been placed in the hands of the 
binder; these will amount to nearly sixty volumes. 

A number of valuable illustrated works on botany, that of Nees von Esenbeck, known as the Dussel- 
dorf collection of medical plants, also the works of Pavon, Weddell and Eliot Howard on the Cinchonas 
are now in the Library, having been procured by the funds left by our former member, Algernon S. 
Roberts. A nearly complete set of "Annales de Chimie et de Physique," the entire set of "Archiv der 
Pharmacie,'' the complete set of "American Journal of Science and Arts," the London " Pharmaceu- 
tical Journal and Transactions," the "American Journal of Pharmacy" — all of which are standard 
works of reference — while many others, equally valuable in the collateral branches of science, will enable 
members desiring information to pursue their investigations with facility. Should any member have any 
work belonging to the Library in his possession, he would confer a favor by informing the Librarian ; 
vol. Ill, first series, of "American Journal of Pharmacy " has been missing for a long time. 

As the care of these volumes has been entrusted to the Librarian, upon consultation with several 
members, he has had prepared two books of blanks — one a receipt, to be signed by any one entitled to 
the use of the Library, and the other a blank guarantee, to be filled up and signed by any member who 
wishes his assistants to enjoy the use of the Library; the first of these is of course destroyed when the 
book is returned ; the other remains in force as long as the assistant uses the Library with the consent of 
his employer. These precautions have been found essential, as books have been borrowed, and the 
memoranda regarding them have been lost or mislaid and the books not returned. 

Thomas S. Wiegand, chairman of the Sinking Fund Committee, read his report, 
showing an amount at interest and available for use, considerably in advance of that 
on hand last year. The report was accepted. 

The report of the Publication Committee was read by Prof. J. M, Maisch, and 
is as follows. It was, on motion, accepted. 

Minutes of the College. 

("Am. Jour. Pharm. 
\ May, 1877. 

The Committee on Publication respectfully report that the "Journal" has been issued with a good 
degree of punctuality on the first of each month. 

The committee has aimed at the publication of such a monthly number as would place in stock 
sufficient to meet a future expected demand ; of these it has devoted fifty copies of each issue to be laid 
aside, and at the end of the year completing the volume, to have them tied up in volumes. These vol- 
umes are not broken for the supply of single numbers. 

The accumulation of stock in "Journals " has induced the committee to offer the volumes from 1836 
to 1852 at the price of $1.00 ; from 1853 (when the bi-monthly issue commenced) to 1869 at $1.50 per vol. 

Of sixteen volumes the committee can only supply scattered monthly numbers. 

The General Index to the first forty volumes did not meet with the attention it deserved from those 
possessing the "Journal." The committee thinks the advantage of the index will be more apparent in 
future years, and that but little loss will result to the College from the publication. 

In common with all periodicals, the " Journal of Pharmacy " has felt the depression of the last year ; 
collections have been attended with more delay, and the amount realized falls somewhat behind former 
years ; there are but few debts, however, which will be ultimately lost. The number of subscribers and 
advertisers has kept up very well, under the adverse condition of business. 

The committee refers with pleasure to the energy and promptness of the Business Editor, as one of 
the elements of its sound financial condition. 


Chairman of Committee. 

The Editor, in his report to the Publication Committee, alludes to the contribu- 
tors to the " Journal " for the last year, and gives an account of the number who 
furnished original communications, and much other statistical matter of interest 
connected therewith. A considerable amount of matter was obtained for publica- 
tion from the Pharmaceutical Meetings, which have of late been highly interesting 
and instructive. He says : 

The Editor is pleased to report that not only has the "Journal" been regularly issued, but likewise 
that the interest manifested by its readers and contributors has been unabated. 

The Editor would again urge upon the members of the College the importance of sustaining the 
Pharmaceutical Meetings, partly by attending them as regularly as possible, partly by the presentation 
of papers and by participating in the discussions. 

Thanking the various authors for their valuable assistance, the author bespeaks for the "Journal" a 
continuation of the lively interest shown by all its numerous friends. 

JOHN M. MAISCH, Editor. 

The Treasurer of the Publication Committee, Mr. Bullock, presented his report, 
by which it is shown that, notwithstanding the depressed condition of affairs 
throughout the country, the financial condition of the committee is about equal to 
that heretofore exhibited, which may be attributed largely to the energy and ability 
of the Business Editor, whose favorable report entitles him to the thanks of the 

The annexed report of Joseph P. Remington, Curator, was read, and, on motion, 

Since the last report was presented, many alterations and additions have been made to the Cabinet. 

A year ago the work of re-arranging the old specimens, and finding places for the new, was begun, 
and it was not until the latter part of May, 1876, that sufficient progress had been made to warrant an 
exhibition at the reception held in that month. 

The International Exhibition has been the means of largely adding to the stock cf specimens, until 
now there is a condition of affairs similar to that of three years ago, when the cry was for more room ; 
there is this difference, however, that the number of specimens has now more than trebled. 

The greater number of substances are now distinctly, and it is believed accurately, labeled, with the 
exception, however, of the recent additions, sufficient time not having elapsed to commence this work. 

The thanks of the College are due for the presentation of the following collections of drugs, prepara- 
tions, chemicals, etc. : 

Am -M J aTx8 7 h 7 arm '} Minutes of the College. 257 

From Joseph Bosisto, of Victoria, Australia, thirty-eight specimens of Eucalyptus products and 
opium yielding 10 per cent, morphia ; Morphia from the Victorian Opium ; essential oil of Peppermint. 

From A. Beslier, Paris, a handsome dried specimen of Thapsia Garganica, and sixteen samples of 
pharmaceutical preparations, including Baume Tranquille, Theriaque, Resin de Thapsia, various distilled 

From the Egyptian Commissioner, General H. Brugsch, twenty-three specimens, including Egyptian 
Opium, Poppy capsules exhibiting the incisions made in obtaining opium, Colocynth apples with the rind 
adherent, Sesame seed, oil of Marjoram, etc. 

From the German Commission, seventeen specimens of Anilin products, and chemicals. 

From the Austrian Commission, for Jacques Pollok, fifty-six specimens of essential oils, essences 
and ethers. 

From the Italian Commission, through Angelo Ganelli, eighty-three specimens of drugs, including 
Manna, Liquorice, Liquorice Root, etc. ; chemicals of many kinds, Cream Tartar, Sulphur, etc. ; phar- 
maceutical preparations, elixirs, salts, etc. 

From E. H. von Baumhauer, Netherlands Commissioner, thirty-two specimens of drugs from the 

From F. Crace, Calvert & Co., a complete collection of Carbolic Acid products in the case in which 
they were exhibited. 

From the Russian Commissioner, nine specimens of Isinglass, some being rare forms of this Russian 

The committee upon the Cabinet purchased the valuable colleetion of Singapore products, exhibited 
by Behn, Meyer & Co., embracing Nutmegs, Cloves, Sago, Sago Flour, Nutmeg Fruit, Leaves, etc., 
Gum Copal, Tapioca Flour, Cubebs, Stick Lac, Pipe Gamboge, Mace, Cube Gambier, Flake Tapioca, 
Gum Damar, etc. 

The total number of specimens in the Cabinet is 1592, of which number 988 are drugs, 291 chemicals 
and 313 miscellaneous preparations 

In concluding this report, the Curator would respectfully recommend the erection of additional cases 
to accommodate the new specimens, which otherwise will not be available for examination. 


On motion, the recommendation of the Curator, to have suitable cases erected to 
accommodate the specimens recently obtained from the Centennial Exhibition, was 
referred to the Board of Trustees for their action. 

William C. Bakes presented a box, containing a book which contains all the 
proceedings of the semi-centennial meeting of the College held February 23d, 1871. 
It is intended that this box shall be opened at the Centennial meeting of the College, 
which will take place February 23d, 1921. 

The package was accepted, and directed to be placed in the safe of the College. 

Professor Maisch called attention to the suggestions made by Dr. Squibb in a 
recent pamphlet for changing the mode of revising the U. S. Pharmacopoeia, and 
also to the objections presented by Dr. H. C. Wood to the method suggested 

The subject, in the opinion of Professor Maisch, was one fraught with great 
interest to the medical and pharmaceutical professions, and in order that the matter 
might be properly considered by the College, he proposed that a special meeting 
should be called on Monday, April 9th, at 3 o'clock P.M. 

The subject was discussed by Professor Remington and others, all of whom 
concurred in the propriety of the meeting. 

It was then, on motion, ordered that a meeting of the College be called on the 
day suggested, and a hope was expressed that the members generally would attend 
and participate in the discussion. 

The Secretary was requested to invite the Professors of Chemistry and Materia 
Medica in the University of Pennsylvania, the Jefferson Medical College and the 
Women's Medical College to attend and take part in the deliberations. 



Minutes of the College. 

J Am. Jour. Pharm, 
( May, 1877. 

This being (he Annual Meeting, an election for officers, trustees and the standing 
committees was ordered. The Chair appointed Messrs. E. C. Jones and E. M. 
Boring tellers, who reported the following gentlemen unanimously elected to the 
positions enumerated below, viz. : 

President — Dillwyn Parrish. 
First Vice President — Chas. Bullock. 
Second Vice President — Robert Shoemaker. 
Treasurer — Samuel S Bunting. 
Recording Secretary — William J. Jenks. 
Corresponding Secretary — Alfred B. Taylor. 

Board of Trustees— Robert Bridges, M.D., John M. Maisch, Daniel S. Jones, Thomas S. WiegancL 
James T. Shinn, T. Morris Perot, William B. Webb, Joseph P. Remington. 

Publication Committee — John M. Maisch, Henry N. Rittenhouse, Thomas S. Wiegand, James T,. 
Shinn, Charles Bullock. 

Sinking Fund Committee — Thomas S. Wiegand, T. Morris Perot, James T. Shinn. 

Editor — John M. Maisch. 

Librarian — Thomas S. Wiegand. 

Curator — Joseph P. Remington. 

Then, on motion, adjourned. Wm, J. Jenks, Secretary* 


Philadelphia, April 9th, 1877. 
A special meeting of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy was held this day y 
at the hall of the College, to consider the proposed alteration of the mode of revis- 
ing the " United States Pharmacopoeia," as suggested fty Dr. E. R. Squibb, of 
Brooklyn, N Y. 

Besides the members of the College, there were a number of guests in attend- 
ance, amongst whom were Drs. W. S W. Ruschenberger, Horatio C. Wood, Chas. 
H. Thomas and Clara Marshall, of Philadelphia, and Professor P. W. Bedford, of 
the New York College of Pharmacy, all of whom had been invited to attend and 
take part in the discussion. 

Robert Shoemaker, Vice-President, was called to the chair, and stated that at the 
last meeting of the College, two weeks previous, the meeting adjourned to meet on 
April 9th for the consideration of this subjcet. 

That portion of the minutes of the last meeting which specified the object for 
which this meeting had been called was read and the chairman announced that the 
subject was now open for discussion. 

Prof. J. M. Maisch. Since I am the mover of this resolution for a special 
meeting, it is, perhaps, proper for me to say a few words to place the whole matter 
before this meeting. Dr. Squibb, of New York, at the meeting of the American 
Medical Association held a year ago, proposed that the mode of revising the 
" Pharmacopoeia " should be entirely changed 5 and, more particularly, that the 
American Medical Association should take charge of the " Pharmacopoeia. 1 ' 

This, in my opinion, is by far the most important portion of Dr. Squibb's propo- 
sition, since nearly all else is dependent upon this. The second important proposi- 
tion, which, however, depends upon the first, is that the "Pharmacopoeia"" should 
be revised by a council of five, of which the American Medical Association shall 
appoint a member of that body to act as President of the council ; that the Sur- 
geon-General of the Army and the Surgeon-General of the Navy shall be invited 

Am. Jour. Pharm. ) 
May, 1877. J 

Minutes of the College. 


each to nominate one member, and the American Pharmaceutical Association to 
nominate two members of that council. That is, in my opinion, the second impor- 
tant proposition, and all others are of far less importance ,• these two propositions 
differ so entirely from the manner in which the " Pharmacopoeia " has been hereto- 
fore revised, that, if adopted, there would certainly be a very great and radical 
change. It should be remembered that the " Pharmacopoeia " was revised by dele- 
gates appointed by the incorporated medical societies and colleges and by the col- 
leges of pharmacy of the United States. These delegates met every ten years, and; 
in the interval each one of these bodies was expected to have subjected the " Phar- 
macopoeia " to a preliminary revision. The results of theses labors were taken to 
Washington, where a general plan for the final revision was agreed* upon, resulting; 
in the appointment of a committee, to whom the preliminary revisions by the differ- 
ent societies were referred. 

If the American Medical Association take charge and become the proprietors oF 
the " Pharmacopoeia," as proposed by Dr. Squibb, it will be optional with therr> 
whether or not they will adhere to the second proposition laid out by hinu. 
to call in the aid of the medical staffs of the Army and Navy, and of the pharma- 
cists ; for then, of course, they may constitute the council as they please, and 
change the mode of revision at will. That appears to me to be a very serious objec- 
tion to Dr. Squibb's plan. Another objection lies in the fact that the American 
Medical Association is, like the American Pharmaceutical Association, an unincor- 
porated body; whilst the delegates to the Decennial Convention in Washington 
were admitted only from incorporated bodies. I do not know how far the represen- 
tation of the medical colleges goes in the American Medical Association, but surely 
pharmacists have no voice there, and could do nothing to prevent the Medical 
Association from changing the mode of revision at any time, and from appointing 
the council in an entirely different manner from that recently proposed. 

While I freely admit that many of the minor propositions of Dr. Squibb are emi- 
nently proper, I believe that those two points are essentially wrong. In connection 
with the last one, there is yet what appears to me an important consideration,, 
namely, that this council of five men must be necessarily appointed from contigu- 
ous localities, and that it cannot be expected that they should be familiar with the 
wants of the entire country ; and to rely upon what is published in the journals as 
to what should be changed or admitted or dismissed from the "Pharmacopoeia'" is 
entirely insufficient. Such information should come from bodies who have a direct 
interest in the matter. 

The President. There are several friends present this afternoon, not immedi - 
ately connected with the College, and it is hoped they may feel entirely free tc 
unite in the discussion as freely as the members of the College, or any person, 
interested who may not have been specially invited. 

Mr. A. B. Taylor. Mr. President : Some time since I received from Dr. E, 
R. Squibb, a pamphlet, and commenced writing a brief review of that pamphlet. 
That was previous to the calling of this meeting. On hearing that this meeting; 
was called, I thought it would be perhaps a good place to ventilate this subject. 

On motion of Prof. Remington, Mr. Taylor was requested to read his review,. 
The paper is published on page 209. 

260 Minutes of the College. { Km 'y^ r ;^ m ' 

Prof. Remington. Does Mr. Taylor present that to the College ? 
Mr. Taylor. Yes. 

Prof. Remington. Then I move that it be referred to the Publishing Com- 

The motion was passed. 

Dr. H. C. Wood. I think it was the Apostle Paul who once said that he would 
not go to a certain people, for though terrible in letter he would not be much in 
person. I will not encroach upon your time further than to state what the College 
©f Physicians have done. They have passed a series of resolutions, preceded by 
a preamble, in w,hich it is stated that they take this method of expressing them- 
selves, for they are not entitled to representation in the American Medical Associ- 
ation, though entitled to representation in the National Convention. They are 
simply resolutions of protest against the American Medical Association taking the 
action proposed. I think it is allowable to state that in a letter from Dr. John C. 
Riley, of Washington, upon whom will devolve the duty of calling the next Decen- 
nial Convention, he states that he cannot see but that he is in honor bound to call 
the convention in 1880 ; so it seems there is no doubt but that the convention will 
be called; and I think the whole movement of the American Medical Association 
will turn out a failure. 

The President. Mr. Taylor's paper so completely covered the ground that I 
presume there is little further to say. 

Prof. Maisch. When I first heard of Dr. Squibb's views in regard to the change, 
it occurred to me at that time, that it was rather better for individuals not to pub- 
licly express their views, but that that should be left to those bodies whose dele- 
gates are to assemble in the Decennial Convention. It is for that reason that I, as 
one, have never spoken about it publicly, either in the Pharmaceutical Association 
or in the "American Journal of Pharmacy." But it has been my intention to bring 
it before this College, which College has had a hand in the revision for the past 
forty years, and, I believe, should speak out its views in regard to the proposed 
change. I do not know that those views could be arrived at in any other way 
than by calling a meeting and by presenting resolutions. I would therefore move, 
that a committee of, say three, be appointed to report a series of resolutions for the 
action of this College. In the meantime the other members may discuss the subject 

The motion was passed, and the President appointed Prof. Maisch as Chairman, 
who nominated Mr. Taylor, who nominated Mr. Bullock, and the three members 
thus named were confirmed by the meeting, and withdrew. 

Dr. Charles H. Thomas. I would like to inquire in regard to the appointment 
of this committee what the scope of their power is ; the words of Prof. Maiscrfs 
resolution are not distinct in my mind 5 whether the resolutions which they are 
instructed to prepare are intended as an answer to Dr. Squibb only, merely nega- 
tive as far as the propositions advanced by him are concerned; or whether they 
really prospose to go to the root of the matter, and to take up and give us some 
ground to form an opinion as to the right procedure in relation to certain forms. I 
infer that it was going rather to the point of negation to Dr. Squibb's resolution. 

Am. Jour. Pharm.") 
May, 1877. j" 

Minutes of the College, 


Prof. Remington. I know, somewhat, the views of the gentlemen who are oe 
the committee. Of course I cannot say exactly what sort of resolutions they are 
going to bring in ; but the opinion I have heard expressed, is that the idea of Dr. 
Squibb putting this revision of the " Pharmacopoeia " into the charge of the Ameri- 
can Medical Association was not one which would be fraught with success, as to 
the producing of a good boook, and that they believe, and I suppose a majority of 
the members here believe, that the same reforms which Dr. Squibb has spoken of in 
his pamphlet can be brought about by the National Convention appointed for that 
purpose, which will embrace delegates from a wider range than can be taken in by 
the American Medical Association 5 and that Dr. Squibb has foreshadowed many 
excellent reforms. But the principal point of difference is that he is wrong in re- 
ferring the whole matter to the American Medical Association, and giving them 
the charge of it ; that what can be done, can be done better by a special conven- 
tion for that purpose 5 that while the previous conventions have not produced a*per- 
fect work — that must be admitted — I do not go as far as Mr. Taylor in his remarks,, 
that the " Pharmacopoeia" cannot thus be made,- but I think we can assume that a 
convention appointed for the purpose can do all the work that the American 
Medical Association can do, and more too. 

Dr. Thomas. I am sure that I agree with Prof. Remington's idea, that the 
Pharmacopoeial Convention is the proper authority for the proper revision of the 
" Pharmacopoeia. " That furnishes the ground for a few words in regard to the 
future revision of the " Pharmacopoeia." I was a member of the last convention al 
the last decennial revision, and I well remember the interest I took in a proposi- 
tion which was made, and resolution passed, instructing the Executive Committee 
to have liquids presented in- weight, throwing out measures of capacity. Mr. Taylor 
made a slight reference to it in his paper. He used the words : " derelict on the 
part of that committee." I remark a pamphlet of Dr. Squibb's, in which he 
severely handled this committee for disregarding this resolution of the convention, 
from which they received their only authority to do the work at all. They threw 
out this resolution itself, and stated, in the preface to the Pharmacopoeia, that they 
felt they had sufficient reason for doing so, and were willing to take the responsi- 
bility for this, and said that the change would not pay for the trouble expended in 
the matter. 

This brings me to the further point which I think it would be well to take into 
consideration, for I think this proposition of Dr. Squibb's is broad-reaching in its 
action. One reform which I think we ought to bring into the " United States Phar- 
macopoeia" is the idea which is the foundation of several European Pharma- 
copoeias. My attention was called to this some three years since by Prof. Maisch. 
I was interested in an article published in the "American Journal of Pharmacy," 
in July, 1874. The idea is one that renders a universal Pharmacopoeia possible, 
and that is arranging for weights Weigh all substances in compounding, not by 
specific weight, but in parts by weight, so many parts of this and so many parts of 
that, rather than any particular amount. That is the idea that underlies the Phar- 
macopoeias of Germany, Scandinavia and some others. As I examined the Ger- 
man Pharmacopoeia I believe it should betaken as a model, and ought to be care- 


Minutes of the College. 

(Am. Jour. Pnarm. 
\ May, 1877. 

fully observed in all future revisions of our Pharmacopoeia. And if in these 
times of considerable heat — and there will probably be a lively discussion in 
the Medical Association at its next meeting — if this College could send some 
positive recommendation in regard to the revision of the " Pharmacopoeia," and take 
into account the method adopted in the German Pharmacopoeia (six or eight 
were obliterated in making this grand Pharmacopoeia); if this College can give 
the American Medical Association a suggestion of the Pharmacopoeia, which 
shall be assimilated to the German, and lay the foundation for an easy approach to 
the foundation of a universal Pharmacopoeia, it will have done a very valuable work 
for the Medical Association and for this College ; for it would be for their mutual 

Prof. P. W. Bedford, New York. At the meeting of the American Pharma- 
ceutical Association, held in this building last summer, the subject was brought up 
by Dr. Squibb, who offered a series of resolutions which were preceded by a resolu- 
tion, that the "American Pharmaceutical Association devote an hour of its third 
session for the discussion of its interests in the pharmacopoeia, with a view to the 
adoption or rejection of the following preamble and resolutions and then follow 
the preamble and resolutions in regard to the Medical Association taking the work 
and the Pharmaceutical Association offering its hearty co-operation, etc. When 
this was followed by Dr. Squibb's remarks, I think the majority of those present 
hardly conceived the full idea that he was making known. It became evident to 
those present that it was intended to be brought up in the afternoon for discussion 
^and vote whether to adopt the resolutions or not. The members of the American 
Pharmaceutical Association Committee on Revision were present, and concluded 
that it was hardly the fair way to get at it, and they prepared another set of resolu- 
tions, which are on record in the proceedings, and were intended to be non-com- 

After the discussion had been gone into for some time, Dr. Squibb said that this 
was not intended for adoption, but merely for discussion. At the time the resolu- 
tion was not particularly re-read, and after the Association had heard a little more 
discussion, it laid the subject on the table. But after the adjournment of the meet- 
ing I read the resolution, and found that it said not only " discussion," but also 
* { with a view to the adoption or rejection of the resolutions " which Dr. Squibb 
offered The matter came up rather unexpectedly, and it provoked a good deal of 
discussion and some personality, which I was sorry to hear. 

The question at issue is, shall the Medical Association control the revision of the 
" Pharmacopoeia " or not? Our Colleges of Pharmacy are representative bodies, 
and interested in this work 5 and availing myself of your invitation to take part in 
these proceedings, I think the views of outsiders may not be entirely uninteresting. 
Shall this College, or any college, permit itself to acquiesce in any proceeding result- 
ing in identifying itself with the Medical Association at all? The more I have 
looked into the pamphlets, the more I am convinced that the whole thing is wrong. 
There is no method suggested by Dr. Squibb that equals in its provisions the pro- 
visions already made by the National Convention 5 therefore it would be entirely 
wrong for any of the Colleges of Pharmacy to give any adhesion whatever to this 
proposed plan of Dr. Squibb's. There should be a decided negative against it. 

Am. Jour. Pharm ) 
May, 1877. J 

Minutes of the College. 


The plan which has been working can be continued, and reform accomplished there 
much better than in the proposed plan of Dr. Squibb. 

But what I think has been peculiar is this, in regard to its introduction, which 
was first for adoption and, finally, for discussion only. It seems to me the matter 
was sprung upon us rather curiously. I think the Colleges of Pharmacy should ex- 
press themselves decidedly in this matter. 

The gentleman has referred to the instructions of the Convention to the com- 
mittee being entirely disregarded. I had hoped to ask whether there were not some 
other recommendations that were not totally disregarded. I would also state, that 
as chairman of the Committee of Revision for the Pharmaceutical Association, I 
have just issued a circular to the Committee on Revision, and it will also be sent to 
every member of the Association, in which the resolutions of the eommittee are 
printed; and it is hoped that the members of the Association will most heartily 
render aid and assistance in carrying out the revision. And when we meet next 
summer there will be some practical results of the work at which we have been en- 
gaged for the past two or three years, but of which we have done but little. 

Prof. Remington. In regard to the question which Dr. Thomas brings up as 
to the matter of revising the " Pharmacopoeia " formulas down to one universal 
plan, quantities by weight and parts by weight, doubtless at the next revision we 
shall not only have that reform instituted, but also the introduction of the metrical 
system. The recent discussions upon the advantages of the use of this system have 
resulted in awakening the pharmaceutical mind all over this country, as to the de- 
sirability of introducing it into the " Pharmacopoeia ;" and I for one cannot see how 
the next Committee of Revision can fail to adopt both of these reforms. This stir- 
ring up that Dr. Squibb has given us I cannot help but regard as a very good thing, 
for we have crept on too much in the old way. If it results in the rejection 
entirely of his plan, as it seems likely it will do — for all the Convention has to do is 
to hold its meeting at the regular time — at that time, I have no doubt, we will see a 
very great change in the revision. 

Prof. Bedford. I would state one point : that last summer the recommenda- 
tions of the sub-committee, composed of Mr. Balluff and myself, to approve rules 
for the guidance of the committee of the Pharmaceutical Association, were pub- 
lished in the " Druggists 1 Circular," and it was asserted by Dr. Squibb in the meet- 
ing that took place here, that this gave rise to the belief that the Pharmaceutical 
Association were revising the " Pharmacopoeia j" but the peculiar point I want 
to bring out is, that to the invitation which was extended to pharmacists to com- 
municate alterations and amendments to the committee, I got exactly one reply. 

Thomas S. Wiegand. There are on the desk the reports of three different de- 
cennial preliminary revisions of the " Pharmacopoeia," made by committees of this 
College. It will give some idea of the amount of labor that this College of Phar- 
macy has been in the habit of putting before the Decennial Convention for the 
revision of the " Pharmacopoeia." Dr. Squibb says, very wisely and justly, that the 
profession of medicine cannot do without pharmacy in the work of revision. He 
knows very well what work has been done by the pharmacists ; and it is in this 
connection, as an evidence, that I have brought before this meeting three different 
reports by our College, which have been to Washington and been considered by 


Minutes of the College. 

f Am. Jour. Pharm. 
1 May, 1877. 

committees of final revision ; and, after having been so used, have been returned 
to the College to be deposited among their documents. I think they will give an 
adequate idea of the amount of work necessary to make a report on the subject to 
the Decennial Committee to act upon. Other Colleges are equally as active as 
ours, and all that work it would be entirely optional with this proposed committee 
or council to accept or reject. If any of the members feel an interest in examining 
that kind of work, these books will perhaps convey a better idea as to what has 
been done in years past than anything else. Such works cannot be made without 
great labor. It would be a matter of some interest if the American Med- 
ical Association were to appoint a committee to see the amount of work which the 
pharmacists have performed. No medical association appoints a committee to go 
over the ground and prepare work ; and if the apothecaries have undue weight there, 
I can see how they are entitled to it, for the reason of their having done vastly more 

Prof. Robert Bridges Mr. Wiegand is mistaken on one point, in saying that 
no medical colleges have undertaken such a work as this. The College of Physi- 
cians has always appointed a committee two years before, who has thoroughly 
prepared a report, and sent it. I am sorry to say not many medical societies have 
done the same. 

Mr. E. M. Boring. The labor of the pharmacists shown us by Mr. Wiegand, 
that Dr. Squibb proposes to have paid for, was a labor of love from this College. 

The Committee on Resolutions, Prof. Maisch, chairman, made a report, which, 

after some verbal alterations, was read, as follows: 

Resolved, That the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy does earnestly deprecate and object to the 
proposed transfer of authority for revising the "United States Pharmacopoeia" from the National Phar- 
macopceial Convention, as proposed by Dr. E. R. Squibb, believing that any such transfer would be 
subversive of the best interests both of the medical and pharmaceutical professions, and that the nearest 
approach to a national character in the work will be that derived from the convention now specially 
provided for the purpose. 

Resolved, That the Secretary of this College be directed to forward a copy of these resolutions to the 
President of the American Medical Association, to be laid before that body. 

On motion of Prof. Remington, the resolutions were passed unanimously. 

Prof. Maisch. I desire to say a few words in regard to the manner in which 
our Pharmacopoeia has been gotten up. The history of the establishment of our 
National Pharmacopoeia is a peculiar one, and shows that the pharmacists have had 
an interest in it from the beginning of the establishment of pharmaceutical societies. 
The first "Pharmacopoeia" appeared in 1820, previous to which time the subject 
attracted the attention of the New York County Medical Society, where Dr. 
Lyman Spaulding submitted a series of resolutions, including a plan which divided 
the United States into four sections, and proposed that in each section the incor- 
porated medical societies should form a pharmacopoeia, and these four pharma- 
copoeias should be merged together by a National Convention. It appears, however, 
that in those four districts only one convention was held, at Washington, and from 
that resulted the first pharmacopoeia. At that time there was no pharmaceutical 
society in existence in the United States. The Philadelphia College was established 
in 1 821, a year after the first "Pharmacopoeia of the United States of America" 
was issued. In 1820, the President of the Convention received authority to call, 

Am May, r i8 7 h 7 ? rm '} Pharmaceutical Colleges and Associations. 265 

after ten years, a convention of all incorporated medical societies and colleges, and 
in the original plan delegates from volunteer associations were included. When 
the second convention was called, of course a call could not be issued including 
the pharmaceutical societies, the first one of which was established over a year after 
the convention had been held. 

In 1830, however, I find in the historical introduction to that " Pharmacopoeia ,v 
the following: "In accordance with the powers granted them, the Committee on 
Publication submitted an amended draft to the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, 
by whom, after a careful review, a resolution was adopted approving of the work, 
and recommending the members of the College to use the work " It is plain from 
this, that, as soon as the National Convention saw an opportunity of inviting the 
co-operation of the pharmaceutical bodies it was done, and that, secondly, the 
** United States Pharmacopoeia " is owned by right as much by the representatives of 
the American pharmaceutical societies as by the American medical societies ; in 
other words, it is joint ownership of the two branches. 

In 1840 there was again formal authority conferred upon the Committee of 
Revision "to request the co-operation of the Colleges of Pharmacy of the United 
States." And then it was that the President of the Convention was directed to issue, 
in 1849, the call including the Colleges of Pharmacy in the United States. The 
co-operation of the Colleges of Pharmacy was sought in 1830 and 1840, but in 1850 
a formal invitation was given to take part in the Convention. 

Prof. Bedford. The physicians of New York, it appears to me, do not enter- 
tain a very favorable idea of this plan of Dr. Squibb 5 there is a call out for the 
23d inst., for the New York County Medical Society, to discuss this same propo- 
sition. So far as I know, amongst the medical profession and the members of that 
society, they do not favor this going to the Medical Association, but think it should 
follow the course heretofore taken. 

On motion of Professor Remington, the meeting adjourned. 

William J Jenks, Secretary. 


American Pharmaceutical Association — The Committee on Prize Essays have 
made the following report : 

The undersigned committee, having carefully examined the papers presented at the meeting of the 
American Pharmaceutical Association, held at Philadelphia in September last, and printed in the pro- 
ceedings, have arrived at the decision that none of the essays offered comes fully within the terms of the 
stipulations made by the donor, restricting the award " to the best essay or written contribution contain- 
ing an original investigation of a medicinal substance, determining new properties or containing other 
meritorious contributions to knowledge, or for improved methods of determined merit for the preparation 
of chemical or pharmacal products." 

In view of the apparent difficulty of obtaining, by the present method, original communications of suf- 
ficient importance and merit to justify the awarding of a prize, the committee would respectfully suggest 
the following modification of the present plan, which is believed to give better results, _and does not con- 
flict with any of the stipulations in the original grant : 

1. The duties of the Committee on Prize Essays shall be two-fold, viz. : 

a 6 6 Pharmaceutical Colleges and Associations, { Am ^y ) r ' I f 7 h 7 arm ' 

a. To select from the queries proposed at any one meeting those, a satisfactory reply to which would 
foe a valuable addition to our knowledge and be worth competing for. They shall publish these selected 
questions within four weeks after the annual meeting. 

b. To examine and determine the merits of the answers to the queries designated as worthy to be com- 
peted for by their predecessors. 

2. All answers presented with a view to compete for the prize shall be handed in anonymously, but 
distinguished by a motto and accompanied by a sealed envelope directed to the president, enclosing the 
author's name and address, and bearing on its face the same motto as the essay. 

3. The committee shall determine, within eight weeks after the annual meeting, which if any of these 
anonymous essays may be worthy of the prize, and they shall apprise the president of their decision, who 
shall communicate to them the name of the author. The unsuccessful papers shall be returned to the 
president, who alone shall be authorized to return them to their authors on demand. The successful 
essay shall then be handed to the Publishing Committee. 

4. Should none of the papers, expressly offered as competing for the prize, be found deserving thereof, 
the committee may select any other paper .presented to the Association, either as answer to a query or as 
a volunteer essay, which they consider of sufficient merit to be entitled to the award. 

Respectfully submitted, 



Our Canada friends are already actively engaged in making preparations for the 
next meeting of the American Pharmaceutical Association, which is to be held in the 
city of Toronto in September next. The attractiveness of Niagara Falls will doubt- 
less induce many members to spend there a day or two previous to the meeting, and 
a large attendance is expected at the opening session. 

National College of Pharmacy, Washington, D. C — The annual meeting was 
held April 3d, 1877, President R. B Ferguson in the chair. The minutes of the 
last annual meeting, of the special meetings and meetings of the Board of Trustees 
held during the year were read and approved. The reports of the various standing 
committees, which were quite voluminous, occupied much time in reading ; the 
suggestions contained therein were referred to the next Board of Trustees. 

The retiring President delivered his annual address, which was replete with valu- 
able suggestions. The College elected officers for the ensuing year, as follows : 
John A. Milburn, President 5 Jas. D. CTDonnell and Giles G. C. Simms, Vice 
Presidents; John C. Fill, Secretary; W. G. Duckett, Treasurer; H. E. Kalus- 
sowski, Librarian and Curator; W. S. Thompson, Chas. Becker, J. W. Drew, R. 

B. Ferguson, W. F. Scala, Chas. F. Moore, Trustees. The usual Standing Com- 
mittees were appointed, after which the College adjourned. 

The following gentlemen graduated at the Fifth Annual Commencement, held 
April 30th : T. E. Chidister, Ohio; T. G DeMoll, D. C. ; T. M. Coombs, D. 

C. ; C. G. Dulin, D. C. ; John J. Stafford, Maryland. 

Georgia Pharmaceutical Association. — Editor American Journal of Pharmacy : 
As you are interested in the progress of pharmacy throughout the country, I will 
briefly call your attention to a lively interest displayed April 10th by the votaries of 
the mortar and pestle, on the occasion of the Second Annual Meeting of the 
Georgia Pharmaceutical Association, which met at Atlanta in the Markham House. 
The members present represented some of the most intelligent pharmacists of 
Georgia. About forty-five answered to their names. 

Am Ma7^77 arm } Pharmaceutical Colleges and Associations. 267 

After an address of welcome by Walter A. Taylor, Ph.G., the following officers 
were elected for the ensuing year : R. H. Land, President ; E. W. H. Hunter, R. 
B. Holl and O.Butler, Vice Presidents 5 John Ingalls, Treasurer ; Walter A. 
Taylor, Secretary. 

Your correspondent, Mr. Shoemaker, of Philadelphia, and Mr. Cheatham, of New 
York, were cordially invited to seats in the meeting. President Hunt, of Macon, 
delivered his annual address, which was full of interest. T. A. Cheatham, Ph.G., the 
orator of the day, opened the afternoon session with a splendid essay, principally 
devoted to the disreputable practice of the extensive use of the various nostrums and 
patent medicines of the day, and urged the educational standard of the pharmacist as 
a remedy for the evil. Mr. Schumann also read a paper on the same subject. Several 
other papers, answers to queries given last year, were read, and for the coming ses- 
sion many queries upon subjects in pharmacy were read and accepted readily by the 
members, each showing a lively interest in the work begun a short time ago by a 
few. Steps were taken by the Association to have a change in pharmacy and 
poison laws. After the chair had appointed three delegates to the American Phar- 
maceutical Association, the meeting adjourned, to meet in Augusta on the second 
Tuesday in April next. At night the druggists of Atlanta had a long table in the 
Markham House loaded down with the good things of this life for the inner man, 
and right well their guests appreciated it. Humerous toasts and jolly good feeling 
prevailed, and at 12 o'clock all decided that they had had enough of a "good 
thing," and left with pleasant recollections and a stimulated interest in the progress of 
pharmacy. As a visitor, I can say that Georgians have gone at the work in good 
earnest, and I thank them for their many courtesies. W. B. Addington. 

Cincinnati College of Pharmacy — The Commencement Exercises were held on 
the evening of the 21st of March, at College Hall, and were opened with prayer, 
after which the President, Dr. R. M. Byrnes, conferred the degree of Graduate in 
Pharmacy upon the following gentlemen : Chas. A. Doerr, Wm. Feemster, Gus. 
A. Fieber, J. A. Horsnyder, Donn. W. Light, J. H. Linneman, J. C. Otis, Chilton 
S. Porter, Louis Reinert, Jr., F. E. Schmuck, Chas. Sofge, R. C. Wangler, Herman 
Wilfert. The address on behalf of the Board of Trustees was delivered by Prof. 
T. A. Reamy, who spoke of the usefulness of the College and explained the im- 
portant part pharmacists are expected to perform in life. The following prizes 
were distributed : Prof. Judge's Chemistry prize (complete set of blow-pipe appa- 
ratus) to Chilton S. Porter; Prof. Wayne's Materia Medica and Botany medal to 
John H. Linneman ; Prof. Fennel's Pharmacy prize (slegant prescription desk- 
balance) to G. A. Fieber j the Alumni medal, for general proficiency, to Chas. A. 
Doerr. The graduating class presented to the College a collection of valuable 
books, Mr. Chilton S. Porter making the presentation speech, and Dr. R. M. 
Byrnes, as chairman of the Board of Trustees, appropriately responding. Prof. 
Judge next addressed the audience in his usual good style, and was followed by Mr. 
J. C. Otis of the graduating class, in the Valedictory. After the exercises the 
Alumni Association entertained the new graduates, the Faculty, Board of Trustees 
and a host of friends at their annual banquet, spread at the Gibson House. 



f Am. Jour. Pharm, 
\ May, 1877, 


State Pharmaceutical Societies — In the present number we publish a brief ac- 
count of the meeting of a State Pharmaceutical Society in the Southern section of our 
country, Georgia, and have occasion to note the prompt publication of the trans- 
actions at the recently-held meeting of a State Pharmaceutical Society in the East- 
ern part, Connecticut. Neither of these associations has been in existence much 
over a year, but both appear to be vigorous and full of energy, and it is a pleasure 
to note that in this respect they follow in the wake of nearly all their older sister 
organizations, none of which has as yet attained a riper age than eight years. 
There are now in existence State pharmaceutical associations in California, Con- 
necticut, Georgia, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode 
Island, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vermont, twelve altogether, and with the 
exception of one or two, which seem to be affected by the hard times, all are pros- 
pering, and the majority have had important trusts confided to them by the Legis- 
latures of their respective States. Aside from the Colleges of Pharmacy and the 
Associations of its Alumni, we have a number of local societies, embracing certain 
cities or counties, in which meetings for scientific and social intercourse are regu- 
larly kept up. 

It seems strange that similar organizations have as yet not been formed in any one 
of the most populous States ; in fact, the territory in which no State pharmaceutical 
association is in existence, forms an almost unbroken belt from New York to North 
Carolina in the east, and westward to the great valley of the Mississippi and Mis- 
souri, not taking into consideration the thinly populated States farther West. What 
may be the cause of this ? It certainly cannot be that there is less occasion for the 
union of pharmacists there than in the States enumerated above 5 it is not that they 
are less intelligent, or care less for social and scientific intercourse ; but, most 
likely, it finds its explanation in the fact that the pharmacist and druggist is so much 
confined to his business, that he has little inclination to cultivate the acquaintance 
and friendship of others, more particularly of those who, to some extent, may be 
considered his rivals in business. And still the old adage, familiar to all, "All 
work, and no play," etc., is peculiarly applicable to the members of our profession. 
Those who have attended the annual gatherings of the migratory American Phar- 
maceutical Association all speak with pleasure of the pleasant intercourse between 
its members, and of the healthful recreation incidental to the respite from business 
cares, and notwithstanding the labors connected with the meetings. The same 
would be the result of the meetings of State societies 5 they could not meet oftener 
than once or twice a year, and if a suitable time be chosen, they could, and doubt- 
less would, be well attended. Such meetings would probably be hardly ever pro- 
longed beyond a day, and the territorial limits and railway facilities are in nearly 
all the States such as to admit of such a meeting with but little expenditure of time 
and money — an argument which has been well advanced by Mr. Dikeman, of 
Connecticut, in his late presidential address. 

And how is the object to be consummated? We would suggest that the drug- 

Am. Jour. Pharm > 
May, 1877. J 



gists and pharmacists of the different State capitals issue a call for a meeting to take 
place early during the coming summer, and we have no doubt that a respectable 
number would respond to place each association on a firm footing at the very start. 
The State capitals, without exception, are easy of access, and in all suitable pro- 
visions for a successful initiatory meeting could be made. Will our pharmacists 
move in the matter ? 

Medical and Pharmaceutical Ethics. — The physicians and pharmacists of Ant- 
werp have recently set an example which deserves to be emulated also in many 
sections of this country ; if carried out in good faith by all concerned, it cannot but 
promote the friendly intercourse between the members of the two professions, and 
abate almost altogether that feeling of antagonism which is still too frequently 
manifested, and which, while it demands for one side the unconditional recognition 
and the most liberal interpretation of its acquired or supposed rights, is often but 
too much disposed to curtail those of the other side, or to overlook the fact that 
during the past century the medical and pharmaceutical sciences have progressed to 
such an extent as to render their complete and co-ordinate separation absolutely 
necessary. It cannot but be productive of good to know in what manner the ami- 
cable adjustment of such differences is attempted and, let us hope, accomplished 

A mixed committee, consisting of three physicians and three pharmacist?, 
appointed by the respective professions of Antwerp, has elaborated the following 
project, which will doubtless receive the sanction of both parties : 

1. Each member of the two branches of the medical corps should abstain from 
interfering with the prerogatives of the other ; the physician should not furnish any 
medicine to his patients, and the pharmacist should avoid giving medical advice j 
the pharmacists may, within the limits of the law, furnish medicines which may be 
asked for, such as a cough mixture, a sedative draught (potion calmante), a purga- 
tive, copaiba capsules, etc., without, however, advising that such or another prepa- 
ration was more suitable. 

2. The physician and pharmacist should conduct themselves towards each other 
with the sentiments of kindness (bienveillance) and confraternity, which unite th*e 
members of a family, and should avoid, in the presence of the client, every kind of 
reflection or unfair remarks (appreciation desobligeante) ; a conciliatory council 
should be appointed for smoothing such disputes as may arise on the subject of: 
medical practice. 

3. Finally, physicians should as rarely as possible prescribe secret remedies and 
pharmaceutical specialties; on the other hand, pharmacists should abstain from 
advertising them. 

Similar resolutions, concerning the intercourse between physicians and pharma- 
cists, have been adopted by the professions in other cities of Belgium. 

Warburg's Tincture. — Recently we have been applied to for a formula for this 
tincture, which had been mentioned in some medical journals'^ a valuable febri- 



(Am. Jour. Phann. 
t May, 1877. 

fuge ; supposing it to be a new preparation, we inquired among a number of our 
friends, to all of whom the preparation was unknown. A lengthy leading article 
of the "Medical Press and Circular" (Dublin), of Feb. 21, contains a fuller 
account of Dr. Broadbent's paper, published in the " Practitioner," and for the 
benefit of our readers we make a few extracts, which are of pharmaceutical interest : 

Warburg's tincture has long held a high reputation in India as a remedy of " undoubted and, indeed, 
unequaled power " in the treatment of the malignant malarial fevers of that country and of cholera. For 
a long time it was a secret remedy, but in 1875 Prof. McLean made knewn its composition, and gave his 
unqualified support to all that had been said in its favor. 

The ingredients of this compound are very numerous, and in this respect its composition reminds us of 
the complex formulae to be found in our old dispensatories — such, for instance, as the once celebrated 
Theriaca Andromachi, or the still more celebrated Mithridate. It consists of aloes, rhubarb, saffron, fen- 
nel, gentian, cubebs, myrrh, camphor, zedoary root, enula and angelica seeds. It also contains the confection 
" Damocratis," consisting of innumerable aromatic substances, and which was officinal in the " London 
Pharmacopoeia" of 1746. Prepared chalk, which was added to correct the otherwise acrid taste of the 
tincture ; and Boletus Laricis, or larch agaric, formerly used as a drastic purgative. Its most important 
ingredient, however, is quinine, each ounce of the tincture containing as much as nine grains and a half of 
the alkaloid. The tincture is of a deep brown color, has an aromatic and slightly terebinthinate odor, 
and an intensely bitter and warm aromatic taste. But its spirit is not perceptible either to taste or smell 
and it seems (remarks Dr. Broadbent) as if the alcohol were entirely saturated and, as it were, extin- 
guished by the substances taken up. 

In reference to the large quantity of quinine the tincture contains, in combination with what some might 
term "a farrago of inert substances," Prof McLean observes tnat he has treated remittent fevers of every 
degree of severity, in various parts of India and China, but he has never seen quinine, when given alone, 
act in the manner characteristic of this tincture. He has never seen a single dose of nine grains and a 
half suffice to arrest an exacerbation of remittent fever, much less prevent its recurrence ; while nothing 
is more common than to see the same quantity of the alkaloid in Warburg's tincture bring about similar 

Dr. Broadbent is disposed to attribute the extraordinary virtues of this tincture to three therapeutical 
principles, namely, the combination of quinine with powerful aromatics, the highly concentrated state of 
the tincture, and the powerful impression made by it upon the nervous system. 

The formula for this tincture, as given in the " Med. Times and Gazette," Nov. 
3, 1875, 1 by Prof. McLean, apparently upon the authority of Dr. Warburg himself., 
is as follows: Socotrine aloes, ibi 5 rhubarb, angelica fruit, confection of Damo- 
crates (containing 40 to 50 ingredients), of each 5iv ; elecampane, saffron, fennel,; 
prepared chalk, of each ^ii 5 gentian, zedoary, cubebs, myrrh, camphor, agaric, of 
each 5L Digest the whole with 500 oz. proof spirit, in a water-bath, for 12 hours j 
express, add 10 oz. sulphate of quinia, dissolve by the aid of a water- bath, cool and 

On referring to " Dorvault's rOfficine," 1872, p. 934, we find the following states 
ment concerning the teinture febrifuge de Warburg : 

" It is supposed to have the following composition : Hepatic aloes 4 grams, zedo- 
ary 4 grams, angelica root o*i gram, camphor o*i gram, saffron 015 gram, alcohol 
100 grams. Digest, filter, and dissolve in the filtrate sulphate of quinia 2 grams. 
Dose, 20 grams a day. According to some authors, the base of Warburg's tinc- 
ture is picrolichenin, the principle obtained from several species of Variolaria $ but 
Dr. van den Corput and several other chemists have positively found quinia in it." 

Hager's " Manuale Pharmaceuticum " gives the following formula for tinctura 
antifebrilis Warburgii ; Elixir proprietatis 22 parts, alcohol 16 parts, spirit of cam- 
phor 2 parts, and sulphate of quinia 1 part. 

a See '* Amer. Jour. Med. Sciences," Jan., 1876. 

Am. Jour. Pharm. ) 
May, 1877. j 



It is apparent, by comparing these formulas with the account given above, that 
they are simplifications of the composition as stated by Prof. McLean. In regard 
to the imperceptibility of the alcohol, however, the statement of Dr. Broadbent 
appears to require some qualification ; for Wittstein, in his " Geheimmittellehre," 
1876, p. 82, describes the nostrum as being "sold in vials containing not much over 
half an ounce (weight), and as being a dark yellowish-brown, not perfectly clear 
liquid, which smells of alcohol, and at the same time of camphor and saffron, and 
has an intensely bitter, somewhat aromatic and plainly camphoraceous taste. It con- 
tains, according to Buchner, quinia and probably, also, cinchonia, camphor, saffron j, 
probably, also, aloes, myrrh and other aromatics like galangal ; it might, therefore, 
be prepared by exhausting Calisaya bark with water acidulated with sulphuric acid,, 
concentrating by evaporation, neutralizing with lime, exhausting with strong alco- 
hol, and adding some camphor, saffron, etc.'" 

It is further stated that " Ragsky, from his analysis, has contrived the following 
formula for preparing a vial of the tincture: 1 grain camphor, 2^ gr. aloes, 10 gr. 
orange peel, and 12 gr. elecampane are digested with | ounce (weight) of alcohol 
and 24 drops of diluted sulphuric acid 5 to the tincture is added 9 gr. sulphate of 
quinia and 3 drops of Sydenham's laudanum. Some state to have observed the 
presence of ginger and angelica, but these two are subordinate in quantity." 

It is to be regretted that before the alleged virtues of this nostrum were heralded 
forth the constituents upon which they depend were not previously ascertained. 
Being an opponent to polypharmacy, we have no faith in " a farrago of inert sub- 

The Nostrum Chlorodyne — The March number of the " Pacific Medical and 
Surgical Journal " contains a forcible and well-timed editorial, which we transcribe 
to our pages, merely remarking that we need not travel to Great Britain to find 
physicians who prescribe, and medical journals who advertise, nostrums, and even 
" puff" them. 

British physicians at home and in America are in the habit of employing the nostrum called Chloro- 
dyne, asserting that its virtues are such that they would not be justified in discarding it, nostrum though 
it be. Various formulas have been announced for its composition, based on chemical analysis and experi- 
mental use. But its exact composition remains a matter of doubt, though for all practical purposes the 
proposed substitutes are doubtless as good, and some of them probably better. How far medical men 
who prescribe it under these circumstances violate the ethics of the profession, is a question worthy of 
thought. No one who does prescribe it can consistently open his lips against other nostrums, or the 
nostrum business in general ; for other practitioners have the same right as themselves to use and endorse 
such other nostrums as they may conceive to be useful. And so professional men succeed in countenan- 
cing and upholding the entire abomination. Like Cowper's Mahometans over the interdicted swine, 
some choosing the snout and some the tail as parts exempt from prohibition, 
" From tail to snout the hog is eaten." 
There is not in the long catalogue of quack medicines, any other one that has so linked the profession 
with quackery as chlorodyne. There is no stronger proof of this than the fact that one of the most 
prominent and best esteemed of the British medical journals promulgates in every issue an advertisement 
of the nostrum, with such laudations of it as the manufacturer chooses to make public. Dr. J. Collis 
Browne, it is stated, was the discoverer, and the formula has been confided only to J. T. Davenport, who 
is the sole manufacturer. We think a standard medical journal should not hire its columns in this style 
for the promotion of quackery. When such things are done within the family how shall we expect 
secular and religious periodicals to do otherwise than flood the country with all sorts of vile impostures ! 
Under such circumstances the attempt to reform the customs of the community in this respect may well 
bring down upon ourselves the denunciation— Ye fools ! First take the mote out of your own eye, &c. 



( Am. Jour. Pharm. 

( May, 1877. 

The Milk of Sulphur Prosecutions in England, to which we have referred on a 
previous occasion (" Am. Jour. Pharm.," 1875, P- I 3^), appear to have reached the 
end which they deserved. As our readers are aware, the old-fashioned milk of 
sulphur, containing calcium sulphate, which, by the way, has never been officinal 
in this country, has been supplied there, whenever milk of sulphur was asked for, 
while precipitated sulphur meant the article which here is used under both names, 
namely, the sulphur precipitated from a solution of calcium sulphuret by hydro- 
chloric acid, and consequently free from calcium sulphate. On an appeal taken 
from the decision of a magistrate, the Knutsford Quarter Sessions, by a very full 
bench, decided, without hearing all the testimony of the appellant, that in the trade 
and the medical profession there were two distinct substances, known as lac sulphuris 
and sulphur prtecipitatum, and that they were supplied to the trade and the public 
by those names as two distinct things. 

We consider this decision as eminently proper, and warranted by the facts as they 
appear to an entirely disinterested observer 5 for in the United States we regard the 
two terms as absolutely synonymous, and a milk of sulphur containing sulphate of 
calcium, as a fraud. But we know also that mere terms have a different significance 
with the population of different localities, and that it cannot be altered by any 
amount of scientific reasoning. 

A Pharmaceutical Journal Discontinued. — Buchner's "Neues Repertorium fur 
Pharmacie " has been discontinued with the close of the twenty-fifth volume, (1876). 
This journal, with its predecessor, has been one of the most important and influen- 
tial, dating back to the year 1815, when the " Repertorium fiir die Pharmacie" was 
established by Prof A. F. Gehlen, a pharmacist, and at that time one of the best 
known German chemists, who had previously edited several' volumes of the " Ber- 
linisches Jahrbuch der Pharmacie." Gehlen died unexpectedly before the first 
volume of the " Repertorium " was finished, being poisoned by the inhalation of 
arseniuretted hydrogen, with which gas he was then experimenting. The very first 
essai published in that journal was written by Dr. J. A. Buchner, who, since 
Gehlen's death continued to edit it until the year 1851, at the close of the 110th 
volume, when the title was changed to that given above. Before the close of the 
first volume was reached, the veteran editor died, and was followed by his son, Prof. 
L. A. Buchner, who remained in the editorial chair until the final discontinuance 
of the " Neues Repertorium." 

Within a few years the publication of four important pharmaceutical journals of 
Germany has been stopped, namely, the " Apotheker," Wittstein's " Vierteljahres- 
schrift," " Neues Jahrbuch der Pharmacie," and now the " Repertorium." 

Correction. — In the December (1876) number we announced the death of Henry 
E. St. Claire Deville. This is incorrect. It was the brother of this distinguished 
chemist, the well-known mineralogist and geologist, Charles St. Claire Deville, who 
died in October last. 



JUNE, 1877. 


By Alfred B. Taylor. 

In considering the expediency of making some alterations in the 
ipian of the Pharmacopoeia, the criticisms and suggestions offered by 
Dr. Squibb in his published pamphlet demand the first attention. 

I. Commencing with the process of its revision, it is admitted that 
the organic body charged with its control can best discharge its func- 
tion through the agency of a subordinate executive commission ; and 
the proposed "council of five" (pp. 13, 25 and 40 of pamphlet) does 
not differ essentially from the existing " committee of revision," 
excepting in size. That so important a standard should, in its perfected 
form, represent the combined knowledge and wisdom of a larger number 
than five will, it is thought, be generally admitted, and in this respect 
the suggested change cannot be regarded as an improvement. It is 
acknowledged by Dr. Squibb that tc no council of five men could 
embrace all the knowledge necessary to the formation of the Pharma- 
copoeia (p. 29.) but it is urged that M it might embrace all the 
knowledge necessary to obtain the services of men who could do the 
work, and to direct, check and guard the results." How much better 
it must be, however, for the commission itself to be able to do this 
work. " How many are necessary to give that diversity of character, 
of knowledge and of experience and taste, whose average makes up 
sound judgment. No such result can be expected from a very small 
body, because it cannot contain the elements necessary ; while in large 
bodies the difficulties of harmonious agreement and action, increased 
by the difficulties of securing prompt attendance at meetings, over- 
balance the advantages of greater aggregate ability." (p. 47.) If 


274 Proposed Changes in the Pharmacopoeia. { Am - / u Z r ;J„ m 

practically there has been difficulty in securing the attendance and 
co-operation of a large number of active workers in the committee,, 
this should be remedied by a careful selection by the Convention of 
those both qualified and willing to serve faithfully on this responsible 

Such a commission, " charged with the entire work, should be 
authorized to employ one or two editors or secretaries ; perhaps two 
during the general revisions and one permanently. These should be 
experts, competent to do all the detail work under the direction of the 
council, and should submit the prepared work at the meetings of the 
council. -These officers of the council should be liberally paid for 
their services, but should have no vote in the council, and perhaps one 
of them should be permanently employed, entirely and solely in the 
interest of the Pharmacopoeia, under the absolute direction and control 
of the council. There should be no salaries paid to the council ; but 
actual traveling expenses should be paid. And all expert labor neces- 
sary to the work should be liberally paid, and the best experts onl^ 
should be employed." (p. 9.) 

To these propositions no reasonable objections could be made. The 
sacrifice of time required by the members of the commission, in their 
frequent and prolonged labors, is a sufficiently onerous tax, without 
entailing upon those living at a distance from the place of session the 
pecuniary outlay which few could well afford. Most heartily, therefore,., 
do we approve the plan that " actual traveling expenses should be 
paid" to all members of the revising committee, in order to secure as 
wide a geographical representation as possible. 

In the further elaboration of his scheme, however, Dr. Squibb 
arrived at the judgment that " the labor involved in bringing the Phar- 
macopoeia up to the level of pharmaceutical progress at the times for 
its revision has always been great, and increasing rapidly with each 
revision, has now become very great, far too great to be required or 
expected from any committee of revision acting voluntarily and gra- 
tuitously, while no adequate provision has ever been made for paying, 
for the labor involved." (p. 11.) If to this be opposed the testimony 
u that the plan of revising the Pharmacopoeia by this Convention has 
been eminently successful and sufficient up to 1850 or i860 will not 
be doubted by any reasonable person, for the testimony of the great- 
mass of the profession will be heartily, promptly and thankfully 

Am j J une"i87 h 7 arm '} Proposed Changes in the Pharmacopoeia. 275 

accorded to this proposition (p. 33.) the writer labors as unaptly, as 
ungraciously to maintain the curious thesis that the able and distin- 
guished men who so conscientiously and industriously served on the 
earlier Committees of Revision did not contribute their voluntary and 
unpaid toil, as has generally been supposed, but that they did their 
work well only because indirectly they were well paid ! 

" When the work was mainly and so admirably done by Drs. Wood 
and Bache in the past, it was well and amply paid for by the subordina- 
tion [!] of the Pharmacopoeia to the Dispensatory of these authors, 
which latter as a private book of its authors has been deservedly one 
of the most popular, most useful and most lucrative books of the age." 
(p. 11.) And this Dispensatory " overshadowed as well as embraced 
the Pharmacopoeia, so that comparatively few persons knew of the 
existence of the latter as a separate and as the authoritative book. 
Hence the success of the Pharmacopoeia depended on its trustworthi- 
ness and utility to the profession, and these qualities were only realized 
through the Dispensatory and its authors ; and they, by the pecuniary 
success of their books were well paid for their labors on both books !" 

(P- 33-) 

This is surely an extraordinary allegation to sustain a theory. The 
Pharmacopoeia was " eminently successful and sufficient up to i850or 
i860," because two of its laborious revisers "subordinated" it to a 
Dispensatory ! " Its trustworthiness and utility to the profession " 
were secured by its being comparatively unknown and " over- 
shadowed " by the " private book of its authors " ! Well may 
it be said that the incoherence of logic in these remarkable utter- 
ances is equaled only by the inaccuracy of their assumptions. What 
possible meaning can be attached to the phrase " the subordination of 
the Pharmacopoeia to the Dispensatory " ? And in what possible way 
could the " admirable " work on the former be " amply paid for" by 
such subordination ? Has some ingenious prestigiation been suc- 
cessful — at the same time — in " admirably doing " the Pharmacopoeia 
and in leaving it helpless and undone ? Such would seem to be the 
inevitable implication. Referring to the first appearance of the Dis- 
pensatory as a commentary on the Pharmacopoeia of 1830, our author 
says : " From that time the Pharmacopoeia became a mere skeleton or 
outline of the materia medica, and was of so little use without the 
Dispensatory — while this latter embraced its text with very much other 

276 Proposed Changes in the Pharmacopeia. { Am j/°e%£ 7 h 7 arm " 

valuable matter — that it had no sale or demand, while the Dispensa- 
tory, based upon it, became one of the most successful medical books 
ever published. So completely did it overshadow and in effect suppress 
the Pharmacopoeia that, until within the last ten years, very few in 
either the medical or pharmaceutical professions knew of its existence 
separate from the Dispensatory." (p. 16.) The language at the com- 
mencement of this passage is noteworthy : " From that time — became 
a mere skeleton !" 

Such is Dr. Squibb's estimate of a u plan which has worked well for 
more than fifty years !" (p. 4) " Up to i860 inclusive, it was accepted 
as the best attainable authority !" (p 39 ) The Pharmacopoeia revision 
has been u so admirably done by Drs. Wood and Bache in the past," 
(p. 11.) that under the fostering care of these two eminent physicians 
it " became a mere skeleton " ! and was " in effect suppressed " ! In 
what more favored regions of the earth, beneath what fairer and more 
genial skies, under what more faithful tendance and careful nurture by 
the learned medical profession will Dr. Squibb seek to find a Pharma- 
copoeia endowed with a healthier life or developed with a fleshier 
fulness r 

It needs not the sentiment of personal respect and admiration for 
these two honored names (so strangely misconceived) to call forth a 
vindication of their labors and their influence. Can any unbiased mind 
suppose that the far-famed Drs. Wood and Bache " were indirectly 
well paid for their labor by this plan of making a Pharmacopoeia which 
should require a Dispensatory, and then making a Dispensatory as a 
private and profitable enterprise, whose success depended on its being 
still more profitable to those who bought and used it than to its 
authors"? (p. 12.) With what shadow of propriety — with what 
pretence of plausibility — can it be affirmed or intimated that the Dis- 
pensatory would have been less valuable, less popular, less profitable — if 
the Pharmacopoeia had been badly revised, or if the edition of 1820 
had never been revised at all r How can that which earned success 
by " being still more profitable to those who bought and used it," by 
any possibility have rewarded its authors for labor otherwise bestowed ? 

As an humble member of the Revision Committee of i860, it was 
the writer's fortune to be an intimate witness of the laborious care and 
the critical acumen with which these earnest Nestors of their profes- 
sion applied themselves to their prolonged and wearisome duties, intent 

Am jine"'i8 7 h 7! rm 1 Proposed Changes in the Pharmacopoeia. 277 

only to secure for their cherished work the excellences of foreign Phar- 
macopoeias and to exclude their defects. How far their scrupulous- 
labors were successful, it is refreshing to learn from the unquestionable 
evidence of one whom no schemes of reformation had bewildered. 
In his elaborate report on this work, presented to the American Phar- 
maceutical Association in 1869, Dr. Squibb has offered his unsuspected 
testimony " that as it stands to-day it is equal with any Pharmacopoeia 

of the world Its merits have spoken for themselves, and it 

neither needs nor admits of laudation, if we have a proper respect for 
its dignity and authority." 1 

. To the illustrious authors of the Dispensatory, however, the profes- 
sions of medicine and of pharmacy owe an additional debt, but poorly 
paid by any emoluments derived from their justly celebrated work. 
Especially to its influence is largely due the elevation of Pharmacy in 
this country to the scientific standing of a profession. 

It is unquestionably true, therefore, that "this work of revision has 
always been done gratuitously." (p. 4.) And a " plan which has 
worked well for more than fifty years is entitled to so much respect 
that it becomes a matter of grave doubt as to whether it can be wisely 
disturbed." (p. 4.) 

It is maintained, however, that the success of the Pharmacopoeia 
u has depended less on the plan than on the men who originated it and 
carried it out." We believe, on the contrary, that its success has 
depended mainly on the excellence of its plan ; and we further venture 
the opinion that a commission of ordinarily good ability, and of ordi- 
narily good training, if large enough ct to give that diversity of char- 
acter, of knowledge, and of experience whose average makes up sound 
judgment," will, in the execution of a judicious plan, produce a much 
more valuable standard for professional guidance, than a council of 
exceptional talent and knowledge can do on any imperfect or inadequate 

Notwithstanding that the last revision (of 1870) has, in Dr. Squibb's 
fancy, ct lost so much ground as to make some movement of reform 
imperative," (p. 39.) he charitably concludes that " the present Phar- 
macopoeia is as good as could be justly expected, and that its defects 
may be in a great measure chargeable to an attempt to get important 

'Proceedings American Pharmaceutical Association, 1869, vol. xvii, p. 34^ 

278 Proposed Changes in the Pharmacopoeia. { Am j u J ° e m " I 8 P 7 7 arm 

labor, which but few have the knowledge and skill to render, without 
paying for it." (p. 11.) " The last committee of final revision . . had 
the necessary ability, but they did not give the necessary labor to the 
work, or at least the work as done leads directly to this conclusion." 
(p. 34.) 1 Therefore, difficult as it would be, u with all the caution 
that could be used " to organize the council of five, the hope is 
expressed that it " might not be impracticable if the labor could be 
paid for in reputation and in money , as it should and must be to be success- 
ful." (p. 14.) And one reason given for limiting the council to five is 
that " it is doubtful whether the income could ever be made sufficient 
to adequately pay for more than one competent editor to do the con- 
tinuous detail work, and five members or councillors for the intermit- 
tent duties." (p. 15.) " Each member should be paid, from the first, 
his actual expenses of attending such meetings, and as the- income 
should increase, be paid for his services, over and above his expenses, 
at say so much for each meeting attended. The income from the 
work of such a council would in two or three years adjust itself." 
(P. 25.) 

From all these conclusions we must entirely dissent. We believe 
that the experiment of complicating existing jealousies with the per- 
sonal struggles stimulated by greed of gain, would be fraught with 
evil only, and would not be likely to improve the national standard of 
the materia medica. To permit the copyright of such a publication to 
be in the absolute ownership of the compilers — as a commercial 
speculation — for their own emolument and recompense, with the 
tempting field of profitable advertising spaces so accessible, would, in 
our judgment, be productive of results vastly more deplorable than any 
" mercantile bias " of some enterprising pharmacist of the future, eager 
to impose his preparations on the Pharmacopoeia. Hitherto the Com- 
mittee of Revision can proudly say that they have had no pecuniary 
interest whatever in the publication. The copyright has been held as 
a sacred trust for the Convention, and its possible profits have been 
entirely devoted to cheapening the book for the public. 

In this admission of the lack of speculative shrewdness thereby be- 

1 It is only necessary to say in answer to this, that the labors of this committee 
occupied very many sessions, often lasting late at night, with a large amount of 
intermediate preparatory work by the members separately, and extended over a 
period of twenty- four months. 

Am iine!'J 7 h 7 arm } Proposed Changes in the Pharmacopeia. 279 

irayed, we are not disposed quite so readily to accept the impeachment 
that from this weakness in the committee, its last revision has 'Most so 
much ground" as to justify the so-called " reform." Let us look the 
matter fairly in the face. We are informed that the first four revisions 
of the Pharmacopoeia " had no sale or demand," and that "until 
within the last ten years very few in either the medical or pharmaceu- 
tical professions knew of its existence." (p. 16.) Evidently something 
or somebody is at fault here! Either the critic is wrong in saying that 
44 up to i860, inclusive, it was accepted as the best attainable authority, 
and was received and respected as such," (p. 39.) or, we fear that the 
revision committe of 1870 cannot escape the charge of having mali- 
ciously caused the fifth and last edition of the work to attain u within 
the last ten years" a prominence so unusual, when, according to all the 
requirements of the situation, it should have been "losing ground!" 

Another important suggestion bearing on the process or method of 
the work has reference to the frequency of the revision. "A revision 
of the Pharmacopoeia every ten years mav have been quite often enough 
in 1820, '30 and '40, and even in 1850, but outside of its present 
organization, it has since that time been generally believed that in order 
to keep pace with the more rapid progress of general medical science, 
the revisions should be more frequent." (pp. 4, 5.) " The council 
should make a general revision of the Pharmacopoeia at least once in 
five years." (p. 17.) By "making a revision every five instead of ten 
years (subsequently perhaps even oftener than that) we should be able 
to keep within the covers of the Pharmacopoeia nothing but what has 
been fully tried, fully known and fully described in detail." (p. 21.) 

The project of a quinquennial Convention for Revision is believed 
to be a judicious one, and called for by the scientific activity of the 
age. A revision more frequent than twice in a decade, we do not think 
likely to be of advantage to either profession. We do not agree, there- 
fore, with the suggestion that there is good reason " for supposing that 
a fasciculus might with advantage be issued annually or biennially, thus 
keeping the work up to the level of current literature and knowledge." 
(p. 5.) Nor are we inclined to believe that even "in the long periods 
of ten years many valuable articles are lost with the worthless mass of 
trash, not so much by the prejudice excited by the company in which 
ffhey are found, as from a failure to recognize them and classify them 

280 Proposed Changes in the Pharmacopoeia. { Am, june, r i8^ DC 

by proper names and description, so that they may be identified and' 
individualized for more accurate observation and research." (p. 5.) 

A Pharmacopoeia, in order to maintain its dignity as a standard,, 
should always have a character of stability. It should be as conserva- 
tive as is consistent with its authority and its usefulness; adopting 
nothing which has not earned the well-settled approval of deliberate 
experience. " The long periods of ten years doubtless allow the sen- 
sational novelties of the Materia Medica to have their day, and die out 
without disturbing the national standard with their unsound claims and 
unsettled superficial testimony." (p. 5.) On the other hand, it is true- 
that the longer the intervals of undisturbed repose, the greater the 
amount of detail work involved with each re-adjustment. "A more 
frequent review of the ground would so divide this labor and time as- 
to give to the professions of medicine and pharmacy the results more- 
frequently and with much less delay. And then reaching the pro- 
fessions more frequently and in smaller quantity, such results would be 
more generally examined and appreciated." (p. 5.) The meetings of 
the Convention should accordingly take place every five years. 

The great labor hitherto thrown upon the executive committee of 
final revision might be very considerably lightened if the medical and 
pharmacal organizations throughout the country would give the Phar- 
macopoeia a more general study, and subject it to a more intelligent 
criticism. It is certain that in this respect the pharmacists have shown 
a much more active interest than the physicians. On turning to page 
viii of the last edition of the Pharmacopoeia, ("proceedings of the 
convention" of 1870), it is seen that when the delegates u were called 
on for such contributions as had been prepared in furtherance of the 
revision,"- — six such reports or contributions were presented ; two from 
medical bodies, to wit: the Philadelphia College of Physicians and the 
Missouri Medical College ; and four from Colleges of Pharmacy, to- 
wit: those of Philadelphia, Chicago, New York and Maryland. That 
is to say, while the medical representation in the convention was double 
that of the pharmacists, the latter did at least double the work attempted 
by the medicists ! 

Of the bodies represented in the American Medical Association, it 
appears that not one felt sufficient interest in the result to offer a sug- 
gestion or report ! Comparing the rival Associations and their respective 
"proceedings," the contrast is equally striking. The American Phar— 

Am june, r 'x^ 7 ! rm '} Proposed Changes in the Pharmacopeia. 28 s 

maceutical Association not only has a standing Committee 1 which pre- 
sents an annual Report of a very elaborate character on the "Progress 
of Pharmacy," — not only has another standing Committee, annually 
presenting for volunteer essays, a large series of scientific "queries" — 
a considerable proportion of which have direct reference to details ot 
the Pharmacopoeia, but it has especially a permanent 44 Committee on 
the Pharmacopoeia" which, appointed in 1863, "on motion of Dr. 
Squibb," 2 and then consisting of three, was in 1874 increased to fifteen. 
As an offset to this, what work of a similar kind has the American 
Medical Association to show in its "proceedings" by which to illus- 
trate its intelligent interest in the improvement of the Pharmacopoeia,, 
its zealous preparation for its revision, and its pre-eminent fitness to 
take the exclusive charge of that important work ? 

If the constituent bodies represented in the Convention would under- 
take not only to offer vague and general suggestions, but to carefully 
work out and present the finished details of proposed changes, they 
would furnish valuable contributions to the improvement and advance- 
ment of the professional Standard ; would give to widely separated dis- 
tricts of our country their just influence and impress on the range of 
the work, and would materially facilitate the laborious and somewhat 
thankless task entrusted to the committee of final revision. 

It is earnestly to be hoped that at the approaching Convention of 
1880, the medical societies especially will be aroused from their pre- 
vious apathy, by Dr. Squibb's energetic agitation, and redeem them- 
selves from his reproach, "that in this organization the medical pro- 
fession of eight to twelve States only was represented " (p. 6.) 

II. With regard to the plan of the Pharmacopoeia, the leading objec- 
tion urged by Dr. Squibb appears to be that the existing work is a 
"mere skeleton" — a simple dictionary of the materia medica.. 41 As 
a summary of what has been said, it maybe suggested that any amend- 
ment of the present plan which does not embrace a dispensatory or its 
equivalent in the Pharmacopoeia itself, will be no improvement upon 
the past." (p. 13.) 44 1 would propose to make a Pharmacopoeia which 
should need no dispensatory, one which, for the scientific information 

1 Since 1873, this Committee has had the form of a Special Reporter, and his 
valuable Report on the "Progress of Pharmacy" occupied in 1874, 279 pages; in 
1875, 461 pages, and in 1876, 368 pages of the published annual of" Proceedings.' 

2 Proceedings Am. Pharm. Assoc. : 1863. vol. xi., p. 42, 

282 Proposed Changes in the Pharmacopeia. { Am jlT/,\^ rm ' 

-required, would refer to the proper works where it may be found, 
whether it be the botanical description or the therapeutical uses, and 
there is no lack of books on either subject. Now let us refer to this 
use of the Pharmacopoeia, not simply as a dictionary, but as a book 
which shall describe familiar drugs, or a drug as it is met with in 
the market, with the processes necessarv for its preparation." (p. 20.) 
" 4t The description, as well as the language, should be as plain as possible, 
and as full. Let us have a standard for the working processes as well 
as for the ingredients and quantities of all the established preparations." 
(pp. 20, 21.) Probably many would quite as strenuously insist on a 
full botanical description of the materia medica, or even on a brief 
therapeutic reference. 

While there is nothing in the etymology of the word " Pharmaco- 
poeia" which would forbid such an extension of its range, it must not 
be forgotten that the significance of words is determined solely by 
established usage. And universal usage has limited the application of 
this word to a standard dictionary of the materia medica. The purpose 
of such a work is in no sense to furnish a manual of instruction regard- 
ing the materials employed in medicine, by the best practice of a given 
country ; but solely to establish a desirable uniformity of standard in 
the prescription and dispensation of remedies; and as such, it is ad- 
dressed to experts in the two great professions of medicine and phar- 

When, therefore, our critic insists that "a Pharmacopoeia for the 
present and future should not only embrace the established materia 
medica, but practically the whole materia medica ; it should not only 
be a standard of quality, composition and strength of the old, but also 
a standard of knowledge for that which is new in advancing the art of 
medicine;" and that it "should no longer be of the character of a 
catalogue, dictionary and formulary; it should aim at a clear and com- 
plete separation and identification of that grade or quality of each sub- 
stance which only is to be used in medicine," (p. 43.) he is really 
contending that the " Pharmacopoeia," properly so-called, should be 
abandoned, and superseded by a Pharmacology or a Dispensatory. This 
is undoubtedly a proper subject for inquiry and suggested improvement. 
But its discussion should be approached directly and legitimately. 

When it is stated that "our last revision was unsuccessful . . . 
because it is so constructed as to require a Dispensatory," (p. 19.) the 

Am jine"*i 7 h 7 arm } Proposed Changes in the Pharmacopoeia. 283 

inconsiderate reader is led to believe that here is a new and hapless 
condition of affairs — deplorable for the profession and discreditable to 
the revisers. In what wav the Pharmacopoeia of 1870 has "lost 
ground," or how the conclusion itself has been reached, is not revealed ; 
and in what way either the sale of the work or its authority would 
have been increased by the prompt publication of an independent Dis- 
pensatory, is as little apparent. 

When the reformatory critic further declares that, " In the past it 
■seems pretty certain that had there been no dispensa- 
tory, a pharmacopoeia upon the present plan would have been a failure," 
(p. 20.) he either ignores the history of all pharmacopoeias in all coun- 
tries, or he pronounces them all to have been u failures !" In no case 
has any commentary upon the materia medica been issued^by the author- 
ity that has produced the pharmacopoeia. Such commentaries (when 
they have existed) have been the work of volunteer authorship and 
private enterprise. A noteworthy fact in this connection is, that in the 
recent revision of the German Pharmacopoeia, it was decided after full 
consideration of the subject, to retain for the work the purely titular 
and "skeleton" form of a dictionary, in conformity with established 

Having thus effectually dissipated the fallacy as to " the true reason 
why our last revision was so unsuccessful," according to the estimate 
of Dr. Squibb, and " why we are now left to desire a change, (if we do 
desire one!" p. 19.) the field is cleared for an impartial and independent 
consideration of the policy of extending the scope of the Pharmaco- 
poeia ; and it is now admissible to say, that if in the judgment of the 
Convention it is desirable to give the work a more doctrinal and popular 
form, no serious objection is perceived to such an enlargement of its 
plan and purpose. If this would be admittedly an entirely new de- 
parture, it must not be forgotten that in all professions, the people of 
the United States are quite as much given to making precedents, as to 
following them. 

Practicallv there is no incongruity in a work of composite order — 
having in its leading paragraphs (and in distinctive type) the dogmatic 
character of an authoritative standard of uniformity for the materia 
medica, properly belonging to a Pharmacopoeia ; and in successive 
paragraphs or annotations, (in subordinate type) the didactic character 
of a cyclopedia of the characteristics, qualities, tests, solvents, sources, 

284 Proposed Changes in the Pharmacopeia. { Am j/ 1 °e ) r ' 1 ^? rm ' 

uses, actions and doses (average, maxima and dangerous) of the materia 
medica, constituting it a comprehensive manual of Pharmacology. 
That such a work would be much more generally useful both to " Medi- 
cine " and to Pharmacy, than a mere Pharmacopoeia, cannot of course 
admit of doubt. 

Not only is it desired, hcwever, to u embrace a dispensatory or its 
equivalent in the Pharmacopoeia itself," without which 44 any amend- 
ment of the present plan .... will be no improvement on the 
past," (p. 13.) but it is proposed that the same authority which controls 
and revises this work, should also supply a bulletin of 14 knowledge for 
that which is new in advancing the art of medicine." To attain this 
end, it is held that the council should be required 44 to issue a fasciculus 
or small inexpensive volume in addition each year, giving the best at- 
tainable information in regard to new remedies and their uses, and the 
important elements of progress in the materia medica and pharmacy up 
to the time of the annual publications Thus each fasci- 
culus would become a useful ephemeris for its day, and these epherne- 
rides would serve not only to keep the profession of medicine and 
pharmacy informed in regard to the novelties as they might occur, but 
assist in discriminating between the good and the bad, saving both pro- 
fessions from some of the influences of fashion, frivolity and mercan- 
tile speculation in medicine." (p. 14.) 44 The book should be simply 
regarded as an organized means of presenting to the professions of 
medicine and pharmacy a periodical summary of important and useful 
information upon which more accurate knowledge may accumulate m 
a more methodical manner in the future than in the past." (p. 45.) 

Work of this kind we believe to be so entirely foreign to the legiti- 
mate province of either a Pharmacopoeia or a Dispensatory, that we 
cannot regard the proposal with favor. When it is considered how 
much room for controversy exists with every novelty in medicine, the 
difference of opinion animated too frequentlv with the spirit of per- 
sonal interest and 44 mercantile bias," it is certainly safer to leave such 
discussions where they properly belong, and where they can best be 
managed, with the able conductors of 44 New Remedies " and of the 
varied periodical literature devoted to the interests of medicine and 
pharmacy. As correctly stated in the Preface to the last edition of 
the Pharmacopoeia, 44 Such a work must necessarly follow in the wake 
of advancing knowledge ; it is no part of its mission to lead in the 

Am june, r 'x8 P 7 7 arm } Proposed Change s in the Pharmacopoeia. 285 

paths of discovery ; it should gather up and hoard for use what has 
been determined to be positive improvement, without pandering to 
fashion or to doubtful novelties in pharmaceutical science," 

Dr. Squibb's main plea for this innovation is the value which such 
an " Ephemeris " or " Fasciculus " — if ably edited, would have to the 
physician and the apothecary. u My impression is that such a book as 
that, would be really more useful both to medicine and pharmacy, than 
the Pharmacopoeia as it is. The Pharmacopoeia would still be essential 
and indispensable, because it is the standard ; but for obtaining current 
information, a work such as the book I have described would be more 
useful to physicians and to the pharmacist than the Pharmacopoeia 
itself. Prom it could be obtained information quite inappropriate to a 
a standard Pharmacopoeia." (p. 21.) 

There appears to be here some confusion of idea. The u utility " 
of a Pharmacopoeia is remote and consequential : the ultimate utility 
to the professions of a common and uniform standard of reference. 
The u utility " of practical manuals of medicine and pharmacy — recent 
and thorough, is immediate and absolute : the utility to individuals of a 
trustworthy source of progressive information and instruction. The 
two are entirely incommensurable. We might as well attempt to com- 
pare the relative values of a lexicon and a grammar. 

The unquestionable utility, then, of such an annual resume of the 
Progress of Pharmacy, constitutes no reason for associating this work 
with the Revisers of the Pharmacopoeia. Rather should such a con- 
tribution furnish the extraneous material, supplied by diligent and un- 
connected investigators, upon which the revising tribunal is called in 
proper time, to sit in independent and impartial judgment. Such an 
annual history and epitome has for years past furnished a very consider- 
able and valuable portion of the published " Proceedings " of the 
American Pharmaceutical Association. And in this body and in its 
congener, the American Medical Association, (its elder brother) can 
such "Fasciculi" be best, be most skilfully, be most appropriately 
gathered and bound into a sheaf. It is believed that such a work, pub- 
lished at cost, under the joint auspices of the two Associations, and 
under the inspiration of a generous emulation, would supply to the 
medicinal professions a Guide, fully realizing Dr. Squibb's ideal of an 
annual Ephemeris of Pharmacology. 

The project above animadverted upon appears to be partly based 

286 Proposed Changes in the Pharmacopoeia. ^;^ m ~ 

on the assumption that " the Pharmacopoeia [as a work upon the material 
rnedica] is the source of, or gives origin to pharmacy. There could 
be no pharmacy without a pharmacopoeia, no more than there could be 
a practice of jaw without statutes or enactments .... Phar- 
macy presupposes a Pharmacopoeia, but it does not make it." (p. 28.) 
This is evidently erroneous. No nation or people ever yet had a 
" statute " without having had a large body of antecedent custom and 
unwritten law long established. And a Pharmacopoeia is no more 
possible without a large amount of pre-existing well-established phar- 
macy than is a Lexicon, without a long pre-existing spoken and written 
language. U A Pharmacopoeia presupposes a Pharmacy," and is entirely 
moulded by it. 

The only remaining recommendation of practical importance in the 
pamphlet under review, is that " the secondary list should be aban- 
doned, and the separation into materia medica and preparations should 
give way to a single alphabetical order embracing the whole contents." 
(p. 57.) This technical modification of the existing plan has been 
repeatedly urged by various writers. It is one which we believe com- 
mends itself to a large majority of either profession. Certainly either 
a Pharmacopoeia or a Dispensatory would be much more convenient 
for reference were it comprised within the alphabet of a single dictionary. 
The arrangement of all the substances in the Pharmacopoeia in a single 
or continuous alphabetical order is also recommended by the committee 
on this subject appointed by the American Pharmaceutical Association. 

The distinctions which have so long maintained a separation between 
the "Materia Medica" proper and its " Preparations " are fluctuating 
and unimportant. To one who had not given special attention to the 
refined reasonings of the Revisers, it might appear very arbitrary to 
class benzoic, gallic, or tannic acid under the one head, and citric, 
oxalic, or tartaric acid under the other; and he might wonder why 
bromide of potassium, iodide of ammonium, oxide of zinc, phosphate 
of sodium, sulphate of quinia, strychnia and veratria were accounted 
merely pharmaceutical preparations, while acetate of lead, carbonate of 
ammonium, hypophosphite of calcium, nitrate of sodium, sulphate of 
copper and valerianate of zinc were consigned to the materia of the 
manufacturing chemist. Certainly no adequate advantage appears for 
requiring in a large number of cases a double search from one who 
desires to consult the Pharmacopoeia. 

Am jS''i8 7 h 7 arm '} Proposed Changes in the Pharmacopeia. 287 

In this connection (as being also a matter of technical detail) it is 
recommended that "cross references " should be made. Thus, under 
the head "Opium," for example, should be given a tabular list of every 
preparation derived from this substance or into which it enters, as 
Aceta, Confectiones, Emplastra, Extracta, Pilulae, Pulveres, Supposi- 
toria, Tincturae, Trochisci, Vina, including derivative alkaloids and their 
several preparations. Each of these should be specifically stated, with 
a reference to the page on which it is described. This synthetic view- 
would add considerably to the practical convenience of consultation. 

Dr. Squibb thinks that "such a revision would decimate the present 
lists. Not that they are entirely useless, but that they are not appro- 
priate articles to be retained in a pharmacopoeia when they take up 
room which might be given' with greater advantage to the details of 
primary articles." (p 21.) The necessity for such a restriction, or its 
advantage, is not very apparent. The question of "room" is one 
which needs hardly be considered. The first need or desideratum in 
such a standard is fulness and completeness: and we strongly endorse 
the seventh Resolution of the last Convention, " that, in the revision 
of the officinal list and formulas, the wants of the mecica! profession in 
all parts of the United States should be considered in reference to local 
peculiarities in climate and population, and that for these reasons the 
scope of the work should be extended rather than abridged." 

The sixth Resolution of the last Convention ordered "that measures 
of capacity be abandoned in the Pharmacopoeia, and that the quantities 
in all formulas be expressed both in weights and in parts by weight." 
For this sweeping and radical change in the construction of formulas, 
no foundation had been laid by any reports or proffered illustrations 
from those interested in the new movement; and no elaboration what- 
ever attempted by its authors and promoters, to guide the committee in 
its execution of the mandate. From the failure of the revising com- 
mittee to carry out this instruction (the reasons for which are briefly 
stated in the preface to the Pharmacopoeia, p. xiv.) advantage is sought 
to be taken to impugn the efficiency of the Convention ! " In the last 
revision the Convention failed to control its committee in the work, or 
rather the committee did not carry out the direction of the Convention^ 
and the Convention has no redress ; for, by its own organic provisions, 
it can only be called once in ten years, and then by the chairman of its 
own committee which declined to carry out its orders." (p. 12.) 

.2 88 Proposed Changes in the Pharmacopoeia. { Am j^^ rm ' 

While the present writer was in favor of executing the order, he 
never disguised from himself or from others the difficulties and confu- 
sion inevitably attendant on a premature disturbance and innovation. 
Taking the case of " Fluid Extracts " for example, of which there are 
now forty-six made officinal, we find that, excepting the single " Com- 
pound Fluid Extract of Sarsaparilla," (U. S. P., p. 167,) every one of 
these forty-six preparations requires 16 troyounces of the vegetable 
powder to be made into 16 fluidounces of the finished fluid extract. 
That is to say, each fluidounce of the preparation contains, by the 
existing formula, the extractive matter of a troyounce of the constituent 
material. How or in what proportion these valuable and elegant pre- 
parations are to be made by weight is not so obvious, for of course they 
•cannot be made ounce for ounce by weight. 

There seems to be little room for doubt that the abortive attempt of 
the last Convention to introduce the gravimetric system will prove but 
a temporary delay, and that it will serve more effectually to secure the 
result in the Convention of 1880. The principal advantage of the 
•method is its greater accuracy than the prevailing volumetric practice. 

It is to be hoped that those so ready both to improve and to censure, 
will exercise their inventive ingenuity on practicable details as well as 
on "glittering generalities." And while it is much to be desired that 
the next Committee of Revision shall be composed of entirely new 
material, it is also earnestly hoped that while there is yet time, the for- 
mulas will be so well considered and so intelligently worked out by the 
constituent bodies and their delegates before the meeting of the Con- 
vention, that this enormous additional labor and responsibility shali not 
be thrown entirely upon the new Committee. 

Another proposed reform (partly embraced in the conclusion of the 
•sixth Resolution above cited), which has attracted some attention and 
discussion, is the further step of abolishing specific weights entirely 
and expressing all formulas in gravimetric " parts." The ostensible 
advantage of this system of mere ratios (or, as it may be called, the 
algebraic system) is that the same formula could be executed in any 
quantity and by any system of weights, and consequently that it would 
form an important advance in the direction of an international Phar- 
macopoeia. On the other hand, the prospect of an international Phar- 
macopoeia with Great Britain (to whom we are most nearly related) 
appears to be too remote to justify much sacrifice on our part to 

Am jl™*'ri7™ m } Proposed Changes in the Pharmacopeia. 289 

encourage hope deferred. There are other international uniformities, 
as of weights and of moneys, which are certainly of much greater 
importance, and which are likely to take precedence in time. 

This topic was made the subject of one of its " Queries " by the 
American Pharmaceutical Association in 1875, and received from Prof. 
Sharpies an intelligent examination in a paper presented at the meeting 
of 1 876J The " Query " was renewed at the same session in the 
following form : ct What advantages would result from the substitution 
of parts by weight for absolute quantities in the revision of the Phar- 
macopoeia ? and if any disadvantages, other than those incident to 
change, what are they?" 2 This question will receive a still fuller 
discussion at the next meeting of the Association in September next 
(of the present year, 1877.) 

Theoretically, nothing appears simpler than the translation of con- 
crete weights into abstract "parts"; or these latter being given, the 
converse translation of them into any given order of weights. But 
the practical application is by no means so easy as the general direction. 
Let us take a single case for trial — at random. The Pharmacopoeia 
opens at page 274. We will transform the formula at the bottom of 
the page, (that for the Aromatic Spirit of Ammonia) into weights — say 
grains, then these into their lowest numbers for u parts," and lastly 
these into convenient whole numbers by an approximation, to repre- 
sent finally the proportions " in parts by weight." 

Spiritus Ammonia Aromaticus. {U. S. P.) 








In lowest 


Take of 

Carbonate of Ammonium, 






Water of Ammonia, 






Oil of Lemon, 





9' 2 3 


Oil of Nutmeg, 

n\, xl 






Oil of Lavender, 

rti xv 



















q. s. to make 






'Proceedings American Pharmaceutical Association, 1 87 6, vol. xxiv, pp. 453-56. 
2 Proceedings American Pharmaceutical Association, 1876, vol. xxiv, p. 15. 


290 Proposed Changes in the Pharmacopoeia. { Am )l^]'^! m ' 

The above estimates of grains in the third column assume the 
specific gravities given in the second column. Having got the formula 
into this form, what shall we do with it ? Evidently we must sim- 
plify the numbers as in the fourth column ; but as we have fractions 
here, a further step is necessary to give us the nearest whole num- 
bers as in the fifth and last column. It is true that this last result 
is only an approximation to the original formula ; but the difference 
in this case is not particularly important. 

Supposing, then, the last column (or any other approximation that 
may be preferred) to represent the improved formula " in parts by 
weight." The merit of these " parts " is that they may equally well 
represent any units of weight. Let us call them grammes, then the 
whole quantity will be 1000 grammes, or 1 kilo-gramme ; equal to 
32 J troyounces, or fbii 5 vii i Troy, (2lbs. 30Z. av.) nearly the quan- 
tity of the original formula. But the apothecary would doubtless pre- 
fer to just fill his quart bottle, as he has been accustomed to do by the 
old formula. Now, it is quite evident that to convert this product of 
the new formula, 1 kilo gramme, into 1 quart will really involve a 
troublesome calculation ; and it will again require an approximation. 
If the new "parts by weight" be counted as grains, the problem will 
not be much simplified. Wearied by the constant labor of calculation 
or reduction from abstract u parts," on every occasion of employing 
this improved and " universal formula," the druggist will doubtless note 
down in the margin of his Pharmacopoeia ( u once for all") the actual 
weights or quantities which he has found it convenient to adopt. 
Would it not be better, simpler and less hazardous of error if, in addi- 
tion to the notation of "parts by weight," the actual specific weight of 
each ingredient were to be officinally stated ? It is quite evident that 
this whole question concerns the pharmacist much more vitally than 
it can the physician — an added reason why the Pharmacopoeia should 
not (and cannot properly) be placed under the exclusive control and 
"fully-recognized leadership of the American Medical Association." 

We trust that this single illustration (a comparatively simple one) 
of the practical labor and difficulty investing the new departure, will 
in the minds of the thoughtful, (not too pre-occupied with a theoretic 
enthusiasm) serve partially to extenuate the delinquency of the execu- 
tive Committee in having, in the condemnatory language of the prosecu- 
tion, " refused r [!] to carry out the instructions of the Convention." (p. 

Am jine"*i8 7 h 7 arm '} Proposed Changes in the Pharmacopeia. 291 

5.) Upon the reflective there may dawn some gleam of sympathy with 
the dismay naturally felt by the Committee on being confronted with 
the formidable task which had somewhat inconsiderately been imposed 
upon it. The able, conscientious, and esteemed President of the Con- 
vention, and chairman of the Revision Committee, is no longer with 
us to justify the course he felt obliged to recommend and to urge under 
these harrassing conditions ; but the more sacred becomes the duty of 
those who knew the man, to shield his memory from any suggestion of 
wilfulness, indifference, or want of fidelity to the high trust committed 
to his charge. 

The professional employment of medicines involves three successive 
stages or processes, each by a different agent. First, the prescription 
of the remedy by the physician ; second, the dispensation of the com- 
pounded materials by the pharmacist ; and third, the administration of 
the prepared medicine by the attendant nurse, or occasionally by the 
patient. In the first two of these operations there is no serious diffi- 
culty in the exclusive use of gravimetric apportionment ; but, in the 
final step, the difficulty of administering liquid doses by weight, appears 
to be insuperable. If, then, the patient must continue to take his pre- 
scribed mixture by a convenient measure, (as the teaspoon or the wine- 
glass,) it seems necessary that the quantity compounded by the apothe- 
cary, in order to give a determinate number of doses, should also be 
estimated in multiples of such measure j or, in other words, by a fluid 

In view of the probable adoption of a purely gravimetric system by 
the next decennial Convention, would it not be eminently desirable that 
a suitable popular measure of accurate size should be adopted by the 
Convention, for the administration of liquids, to supersede the common 
variable teaspoon ? If weights are preferable to measures in the prep- 
aration of the mixture, by reason of their finer accuracy, and if such 
more accurate mixture must continue to be administered by volume, is 
there not a corresponding need that a greater uniformity and accuracy 
should be attempted in the final stage of the actual exhibition of the 
dose ? 

We strongly urge the recommendation therefore — in the interests of 
the physician and of the pharmacist, as in the best interest of the sick, 
that a standard spoon of accurately determined capacity should be 
authoritatively adopted by the Convention of 1880, and universally 

292 Proposed Changes in the Pharmacopeia. { Am )l™/ 1 t%! m ' • 

assumed and recommended for use by the professions. Should the 
metric system of weights be adopted, such standard officinal spoon 
might very conveniently have the exact capacity of four u fluigrams " 
of distilled water ; a volume expressed by the French metric system,, 
as four millilitres. The capacity of such a spoon (a " metrispoon ") 
would be in our present measures 64*9 minims ; the ordinary teaspoon 
being supposed to hold 60 minims or one fluid-drachm. 1 

Omitting several minor points in consequence of the unreasonable 
length already reached by this communication, this portion of the subject 
may be concluded with a reference to the suggestions already made by the 
committee of fifteen appointed by the American Pharmaceutical Asso- 
ciation for the purpose of considering and reporting upon any improve- 
ments which may be thought advisable in the next revision of the 
Pharmacopoeia. This committee has recommended : " 1st, That all 
measures of capacity be abandoned ; 2d, That all substances be 
weighed, and that the quantities be given in parts; 3d, That all sub- 
stances in the U. S. Pharmacopoeia be arranged alphabetically ; 4th, 
That the descriptions of crudedrugs be made more exact and complete ; 
5th, That the formulas for the manufacture of chemicals, which are 
recognized as produced entirely by manufacturing chemists, be omitted,, 
(with the exception of such chemicals as produce different results when 
made by different processes), and that a description of the chemical be 
substituted with such tests as shall be conclusive as to its identity and 
purity ; 6th, That it is desirable that there should be a larger number 
of tables for reference introduced into the U. S. Pharmacopoeia. 

Remembering that the Association has never had even a representa- 
tion in the decennial Convention, such enlightened activity and disin- 
terested zeal in attempting to awaken inquiry, to stimulate suggestion, 
and to promote discussion in regard to all the details of the approaching 
revision, cannot be too warmly applauded. Where shall we look: 
throughout our land to discover traces of any similar interest, or any 
similiar procedure in any organized body of either profession ? If this 
spontaneous heartiness of co-operation in a great public work has in 
any quarter of the medical domain occasioned among any individuals 
a touch or suspicion of jealousy, we believe that a very brief experi- 
ment in devoting attention to the defects or the requirements of the 

1 The suggestion of a standard "metrispoon " was published by the writer in th& 
Medical and Surgical Reporter for February, 1877, vol. xxxvi, pp. 171, 172. 

- Am j{° n u e%877 arm '} Proposed Changes in the Pharmacopeia. 293 

medical standard, with a view to offering solid projects of improvement, 
will very speedily dissipate the last traces of any such sentiment. 

III. The method of publication is a subject upon which there has 
existed considerable difference of opinion. Heretofore the Pharma- 
copoeia has been "published" by a well-known and responsible 
publishing firm in the city where the committee has held its sessions, 
and where the work of revision has been done. This publishing house 
has not, however, at any time owned the " copyright ;" this having 
been held by the Committee of Revision and Publication, in trust, 
through its chairman. Dr. Squibb in his earlier reflections on the 
subject expressed the opinion, that " in order to cheapen the book as 
far as possible to the medical and pharmaceutical public, the copyright 
should be placed at a price that would just meet all reasonable 
expenses." (p. 9.) Practically, this is precisely what has always been 
done, excepting that the copyright was never actually sold. The only 
pecuniary income from the publication ever received by the owners of 
the copyright, has been the pittance of some two hundred dollars or 
thereabouts, required by the committee for actual outlays. Beyond 
these slight necessary expenses, the committee has permitted no 
remunerations ; but has studiously labored to so limit the profits of the 
work, that it should be furnished to the public at the lowest remuner- 
ative price. 

It is complained, however, that " what the copyright has yielded 
hitherto, or what it was worth, could never be known, because it was 
always given arbitrarily to one publishing house, which house declined 
to give any information upon this point." (p. 9.) At the time referred 
to in this complaint Dr. Squibb was himself a member of the revising 
committee, a majority of which (contrary to his wishes), instead of 
inviting bids from New York and Boston, or permitting a competitive 
scramble for the work, as a valuable prize, decided (wisely, as we 
believe) on having the printing done under its immediate supervision, 
with the constant opportunities of very frequent revises of the " proofs." 
And it was also insisted on that a careful estimate should be made for 
minute criticism, whereby the book should be put upon the market at 
the cost of production. The result was that the revision of i860, 
published in 1863, when gold was rising to its highest tide, and prices 
were correspondingly inflated, was, by this " arbitrary " conduct of the 
committee, retailed at the price of one dollar in currency ! 

294 Proposed Changes in the Pharmacopoeia. { A *j^fi^^~ 

It is safe to say that no book of corresponding size and style was 
produced at this time at less than double this price, even though it were 
a work of much more popular character and much larger circulation 
than a Pharmacopoeia ! Considering that this weakling of the press 
("a mere skeleton") could by no possibility be classed with "light lite- 
rature," we are biased enough to maintain that this publication was a 
marvel of cheapness. It is not believed that any respectable publisher 
could have offered the book at a lower rate (unless with the hope ot 
securing a future publication of the work in better times). Whether 
the majority of the committee, in thus "giving it arbitrarily to a pub- 
lishing house," consulted the true interests of the professions they 
were honestly laboring to serve is for the unprejudiced of those profes- 
sions to decide. The probable influence of this course on the circula- 
tion and sale of the work, may however, be obliquely gathered from the 
unintentional testimony of our opponent, whose severest impeachment 
of the past utility of the naked Pharmacopoeia is, that " until within 
the last twenty years, probably, the Pharmacopoeia was but little 
known ! " (p. 19.) 

The plan now proposed by Dr. Squibb contemplates (as has been 
seen) the sale of the copyright to the highest bidder, in order to yield 
as large a remuneration as possible to those entrusted with the revision. 
He says : " Should the copyright be offered to a properly controlled 
competition, it doubtless could be made to pay liberally all the expenses 
necessary to having the work well done." (p. 9.) And, to prevent the 
danger of distributing the proceeds of the sale among too many hands, 
the caution is provided, that " the income from their work, if it be well 
done, will within a moderate time pay a few men for the time and 
labor they give, but would not pay a large number of men." (p. 47.) 

Dissenting entirely from these views, we are yet strongly of the 
opinion that the time has now •arrived for a considerable change in the 
manner of producing the Pharmacopoeia. Not as a momentary or 
controversial impression, but as a deliberate and long-cherished con- 
viction, we would advocate, very decidedly : 1st, the permanent reten- 
tion of the copyright of the Pharmacopoeia by the Convention itself, as; 
an incorporated institution ; 2ndly, the publication of the Pharmaco- 
poeia by the Convention itself, through a special committee for that 
purpose ; 3rdly, the appointment of a treasurer by the Convention to 
take charge of the proceeds from the Pharmacopoeia as a permanent 

Am ju°e!: 'i8 P 7 7 arm ' } Proposed Changes in the Pharmacopeia. 295 

fund, from which the expenses of the Convention should be paid ; and 
4'thly, the payment from such fund of all necessary expenses of the 
Committee of Revision, including the actual traveling expenses of its 

On the first proposition but little needs be said. It can scarcely be 
questioned that an organization of such authority and responsibility, 
should have the chartered franchise enabling it to hold and to de- 
fend its property ; so that in its own name and by its own act it 
should be legally qualified to resist either the infringements of publish- 
ers or the trespasses of aspiring associations of men willing to 
"relieve" it of the management of its affairs, or to "assume" the 
possession of its prerogatives. We believe, moreover, that it is most 
consistent with the dignity of the Convention that the legal possession 
of the copyright of its own peculiar production, should not be delega- 
ted even to its own Committee, which has heretofore so faithfully and 
so honorably discharged its delicate trust. The President of the Con- 
vention (and his successors or official representatives) should by the 
organic constitution of the body, have the duty of calling the Conven- 
tion every five years, in a specified manner and at a specified time and 
place ; and the further right to convene the body at any intermediate 
time when in his judgment circumstances should render it expedient. 

On the second proposition it may be remarked that nothing can be 
more unseemly than struggles of members — the partisans of rival cities, 
eager to secure the supposed advantages of a local publication. Should 
it be decided, for instance, that the sessions of the next Committee of 
Revision shall be held in Boston, what could be more derogatory 
than a contest whether the printing and publishing of the book should 
be sent to a Philadelphia house, willing to underbid a responsible pub- 
lisher on the ground, in whom the committee had entire confidence ? 
That such local jealousies have been entertained and openly avowed is 
only too notorious. In the discussion following Dr. Squibb's presenta- 
tion of his enterprise at the meeting of the American Pharmaceutical 
Association in September, 1876, Mr. Colcord, of Boston, remarked, 
" The United States Pharmacopoeia has always been published in one 
city, and by one set of men ; and it got into a rut and became a Phila- 
delphia institution. Not but what that made a better Pharmacopoeia 
than it would have been if it had gone to Chicago or Boston, but it 
was a local institution." 1 As the Acts of Congress also " have always 
1 Proceedings Am. Pharm. Assoc. : 1876. vol. xxiv., p. 637. 

296 Proposed Changes in the Pharmacopoeia. { Am )lT c %$% rm ' 

been published in one city," we presume by Mr. Colcord's logic they 
also are to be classed as "a local institution !" 

Unfortunately, the city of " Fraternal Affection " has always been 
the acknowledged Medical Metropolis of the nation. Unfortunately, 
since here (as is sometimes the case) the reputation has involved a cor- 
responding labor and responsibility ! Whenever the Convention has 
desired to submit its chosen business to a selected number of zealous, 
hard-working men in the field of abstract medicine and pharmacy, in- 
stinctively a considerable proportion of such material has been culled 
from Philadelphians. Are other sections of our wide-spread Republic 
ambitious of the labor ? Surely they have only to apply their own 
shoulders to the wheel ! If distant portions of our common country 
have the misfortune (real or supposed) of a deficient representation, who 
is responsible for this melancholy condition of affairs ? Who is charge- 
able with suffering the Pharmacopoeia to become " a local institution ?" 

At the last meeting of the Conventio n, (in 1870) the number of 
contributions in furtherance of the Revision presented by the sixty 
delegates representing the pharmacopoeial science of the nation (shall 
we add, its zeal and industry ?) was — six I 1 Of these six contributions 
two, beyond all reach or question of comparison, were most elaborate 
and valuable for the purposes^of a revision. Of these two well-studied 
programmes, one was a Review presented by the " Philadelphia College 
of Physicians," the other was a Review presented by the "Philadelphia 
College of Pharmacy !" Do honorable gentlemen complain that they 
themselves have been indifferent or negligent ? Is it the peculiar 
offence of Philadelphians that they have not been equally indifferent or 
negligent ? Is it a proper subject of self-laudation that not a fragment 
of a report was submitted from anv New England State ? Or is it 
held to be a worthy ground for envious bickerings, that other cities and 
States have voluntarily suffered by far the largest portion of the pre- 
liminary labor of revision to be actually performed " in a single city "? 

Where the sessions of the Committee should be held was simply a 
question of convenience and economy. Wherever in the judgment of 
the next Convention it may be deemed expedient to fix the sessions of 
the Executive Committee, most sincerely do we hope that Philadelphia 
will not be selected. If the mere change of venue should be success- 
ful in awakening a larger local interest and activity in the improvement 

1 Pharmacopoeia, U. S., 1870, p. viii. 

^^1877*™'} Proposed Changes in the Pharmacopoeia. 297 

of the Pharmacopoeia, a great public good will have been effected, and 
the profession will have true cause for gratulation. 

The zeal manifested to have the work of revision specifically local- 
ized, so disproportioned to the zeal displayed in actual performance of 
the work, has not apparently an adequate impelling motive. Speaking 
from experience, we believe that one who has twice served upon the 
Executive Committee (as a working, not as an ornamental member), 
will be very glad to wash his hands thereafter from further personal 
anxiety, fatigue, and responsibility in the conduct of the revision. The 
honor or credit attending its duties is of an apocryphal character, the 
thanks, if any, stand at an infinitesimal figure, the criticisms upon the 
result not always friendly in spirit, the occupation of precious time 
tedious and exacting, the expenditure of real and prolonged labor very 
serious, and finally the compensation for all this — nothing! If those 
who appear to be so desirous of obtaining the work for New York or 
Boston have in view the dim perspective of a more enlarged worldly- 
wisdom, it is perhaps well that such anticipations should be definitely 
settled. To remove all occasion, either for temptation or suspicion of 
partiality or " mercantile bias," no course appears so direct and decisive 
as the exclusion of the copyright from any local or personal disposition. 
The practical business of publication can well be performed by a 
judiciously selected Committee, as the Proceedings, Transactions and 
Journals of learned Societies are usually conducted. 

On the third proposition it is only necessary to say that a treasury 
necessarily follows from the possession of an income and a fund. By 
simply retaining the possession of its own literary property under the 
editorship of its Revising Committee, and the management of its 
Publishing Comittee, and by distributing its published work among 
the principal medical booksellers of the United States on the usual 
trade commissions, the Convention would doubtless be in the posses- 
sion of a modest income quite sufficient for all its economic needs. 
On the other hand, the public spirit of so large, so varied and so 
respectable a body, would doutless be a sufficient guard against any 
tendency to enhance unduly the profits of the enterprise, or to lower 
it to the character of a mercantile speculation. In this connection it 
is suggested that as a just and equitable portion of the income from the 
work, a moderate copyright royalty or license fee should be charged 
for any re-production of it in a commentary or dispensatory. 

2 9 8 Indexing of Periodicals. • { Am jiSS'\f?" m * 

On the fourth proposition there is scarcely need for further comment. 
The propriety of the Convention, making provision for the necessary 
expenses of its Revising Committee, will be questioned by no one. A 
provision for the actual traveling expenses of the members of the com- 
mittee incurred in the discharge of their grave and onerous duties, 
falls really within the scope of the preceding statement. But on 
this provision we wish strongly to insist, as a step absolutely necessary, 
to secure attendance from any distance ; and necessary, therefore, tc 
maintain in the committee any just and proper representation of our 
wide-spread and diversified territory. 

With these responses, criticisms, and suggestions, in relation to the 
future plan and management of the U. S. Pharmacopoeia, we close by 
a quotation, and full endorsement of Dr. Squibbs' considerate words s 
lt There is probably no subject where hasty, immature action is more 
to be deprecated, or where a wise deliberation is more necessary to the 
welfare of the single inseparable interest which embraces the arts of 
medicine and pharmacy." (p. 9.) Having felt called upon to review 
with some freedom the programme of improvement so elaborately and 
industriously set forth by Dr. Squibb, the writer would be doing justice 
neither to his own feelings and convictions, nor to the merits and 
intentions of the talented author of that programme, did he neglect to- 
express his high personal regard and professional respect for Dr. Squibb, 
and his unwavering confidence in the sincere, exalted, and disinterested 
purpose entertained, to advance the best interests of both professions, 
and to elevate the character of our National standard — the United 
States Pharmacopoeia. 


The articles of Messrs. Moore and Wilder on the Use of Books and 
the Indexing of Periodicals are doubtless of sufficient interest to call 
for further practical suggestions. Mr. Wilder's card system is a good 
one, but I fancy the following plan, which I have used successfully for 
several years, will be found more convenient. I have a small set of 
pigeon-holes (about 34$ in. x 13 in.), made to fit any desk. These 
pigeon-holes are 4J x 3 inches in size, and are labelled from A to Z. 
I take common foolscap paper, double each sheet twice upon itself, 
cut it into eight slips, and turn up a margin of half an inch on the left 
side — the dotted line marks the edge of this fold. Each slip is about 

Am. Jour. Pharm. ) 
June, 1877. j" 

Tincture of Kino. 

ACONITE. — Very useful in neuralgia, in'com- 
i i bination with Pot : Brom : — 

Vide Med : Gaz : p. 26, vol. v. 
Aconite root should be tasted to test its purity, 
i It is inert if not bitter. — Squibb, Pamph : p. 21. 

8 in. x 3 in. in size, and is large enough for most purposes, particularly 
as it is only important facts that one cares to preserve. With a suffi- 
cient stock of these slips on hand I am prepared for work. 

In reading medical journals or other scientific periodicals, I make it 
a rule to mark, with a cross or other sign, on the margin of the page 
any article or paragraph of special interest. I then go carefully over 
the periodical a second time, and note down on one of my paper slips 
any fact or statement that I wish to preserve, heading it with its appro- 
priate catch-word in a larger hand, and referring to my authority, vol- 
ume and page. This slip I place in its proper pigeon-hole, and thus I 
am provided with an alphabetical register of medical notes, which I can 
paste together by their folded margins or arrange and put into book 
form at any time. C. J. Cleborne, M.D. 

U. S. Naval Hospital, Portsmouth, N. H. 

TINCTURE of KINO which will not GELATINIZE. 

By Peter P. Fox, Ph.G. 
The difficulty of preventing the tincture of kino, U. S. P., from gela- 
tinizing, has induced me amongst some others of our profession, to 
experiment with the use of pure glycerin in its preparation ; and after 
having tried various proportions I have at last obtained a permanent 
preparation, and I trust done something towards solving the query, 
" How can tinctura kino, U. S. P., be made permanent ?" The fol- 
lowing is my formula : 

Kino in fine powder, . . . 360 grs. 

Alcohol, Glycerin, Water, each a sufficient quantity. 

Mix four measures of alcohol with one of water and one of glycerin,, 
then proceed as directed in the U. S. P., using sufficient of the above 
menstruum to make half a pint of tincture. 

Prof. Remington has had a sample of this tincture since early last 
fall, and at this time it shows not the least sign of becoming thick. 

.300 Note on Recovering Alcohol. 


By J. U. Lloyd. 

If the directions for preparing official fluid extracts are carefully 
followed, trouble is in some instances experienced in the very important 
after-operation of recovering the alcohol which remains within the 
residue. The usual process, and the most satisfactory one in my opin- 
ion, applicable alike to small or large amounts, is to continue the per- 
colation with water after the extract is prepared, and recover the alcohol 
from the watery runnings by distillation ; and in this latter percolation 
I find among pharmacists much trouble occasionally is experienced. 
If the materials are powdered and well packed, as directed by the 
" Pharmacopoeia," it is often absolutely impossible to percolate with 
water ; the ligneous portion of the mass softens and swells ; the gum, 
mucilage and extractive matters dissolve, altogether forming a glutinous 
paste or mush, through which water refuses to pass. If the materials 
are not properly powdered and packed, the extraction of the medicinal 
principles of the drug is found to be difficult or impossible. Conse- 
quently the extract is likely to be deficient in strength. Less trouble 
is afterward experienced with the water ; but mucilaginous materials, 
like buchu, especially such as have been exhausted with strong alcohol, 
cannot be easily percolated with water, even though very coarsely 

I find it advantageous in all cases to have the exhausted powder 
dumped out of the percolator and replaced loosely. I have a set of 
percolators of different shape expressly for residues, and require every 
residue to be removed from the original percolator. But this will not 
answer for some articles, as it seems impossible to replace them loose 
enough. To overcome the trouble, I have the powders of certain 
materials evenly mixed with sawdust as soon as they are dumped. 
Buchu, squills, and a few such, require about their own bulk; others, 
like cimicifuga and aconite, one-half part. Water will freely permeate 
through these mixtures. A very aggravating trouble is overcome by 
this simple process. 

Note By The Editor. — When working with large quantities, we 
-have found it convenient to transfer the exhausted powder to a still 
and inject steam under pressure. The alcohol distills over, gradually 

{ Am. Jour. Pharm. 
( June, 1877, 

Am. Jour. Pharm \ 
June, 1877. J 



becoming more diluted. If charged with odorous principles it may be 
passed through charcoal and afterwards rectified by redistillation, or it 
may be rectified at once with the addition of some permanganate, 
whereby many volatile odorous principles are destroyed. 


By G. H. Chas. Klie. 

The {C Pharmacopoeia " directs to make simple collodion by taking 
two hundred grains of pyroxylon, and by occasional shaking to dissolve 
it in a mixture of twelve and a half fluidounces of stronger ether, and 
three and a half fluidounces of stronger alcohol. Cantharidal collodion 
contains in one pint fifteen fluidounces of an ethereal tincture and one 
ounce of a concentrated alcoholic tincture of cantharides, with one 
hundred grains of pyroxylon. The addition to this of one hundred 
and twenty grains of Canada turpentine and one hundred and sixty 
grains of castor oil is directed to insure flexibility. 

With soluble pyroxylon the preparation of simple collodion offers no 
difficulties whatever ; that of cantharidal collodion offers none, after a 
full strength spirituo-ethereal tincture has been secured. The success 
in making both preparations depends on the solubility of the pyroxylon. 
A variety of methods are followed in the preparation of this article, 
besides those which the " Pharmacopoeia " gives. 

One formula is: Take 10 fluidounces of sulphuric acid, sp. gr. 
1*84 in a dish, add 12 fl. drachms of water and 10 fluidounces of nitric 
acid, sp. gr. 1*50, and raise the temperature to 140 by immersing the 
dish in boiling water. One ounce of clean cotton is then immersed 
in small portions at a time, keeping the liquid in motion until the liquid 
be nearly absorbed. Wash in water until perfectly neutral, and for 
preservation dry slowly and thoroughly. I have tried this formula, but 
without success. 

Another is : Take of cotton one ounce ; sulphuric acid five fluid- 
ounces ; nitric acid five fluidounces. Mix the acids in a porcelain 
mortar, immerse the cotton in the mixture and stir it for three minutes 
with a glass rod until it is thoroughly wetted by the acids. Wash in 
water until the washings cease to give a precipitate with chloride of 
barium. Drain the product on filtering paper and dry in a water bath. 
A comment accompanies this formula, saying : " The officinal nitric 

3° 2 


{Am. Jour. Pharm. 
June, 1877. 

acid of sp. gr. 1*5 makes a pyroxylon which is not entirely soluble in 
ether; but nitric acid of sp. gr. 1*42 answers much better." This is 
from " Pereira's Materia Medica," etc. 

According to the " Pharmacopoeia," a half troyounce of cotton, 
freed from impurities, is thoroughly imbued in a mixture of three and 
a half troyounces of nitric acid and four troyounces of sulphuric acid 
of officinal strength for fifteen hours, after the temperature of the mix- 
ture has fallen to 90 . The product is then washed, first in cold water, 
until the washings cease to have an acid taste, and then in boiling 
water, then drained on filtering paper and dried by means of a water 
bath. If acids of the officinal strength can not be easily obtained, 
for the same quantity of cotton a mixture of four troyounces of nitric 
acid, sp. gr. 1*382 to 1*390, and of sulphuric acid, sp. gr. 1*833 ten 
troyounces is used, and proceeded as before. I have tried both of these 
formulae and have had tolerably good success with the second when 
the directions were scrupulously followed. 

Hager, in his commentaries to the " Pharmacopoeia Germanica," 
gives a table of mixtures for the preparation of pyroxylon, which I 
give below. It shows the proportion and the sp. gr. of the acids in 
each mixture, and the number of hours necessary to complete the 
chemical change in the cotton : 

Nitric Acid. Sulphuric Acid. x'833-1'840. 


Spec. gr. 



1 1 


1 1 


































Comparing the second formula of the " Pharmacopoeia " with the 
one that ought about to correspond with it in this table, a conspicuous 
difference is noticed. The former uses four parts nitric acid, sp. gr. 
1*390, to ten parts sulphuric acid, sp. gr. 1*833, whereas, the latter uses 
seventeen parts nitric acid, sp. gr. 1*390, to twenty sulphuric acid, sp. gr. 
1*833-1*840. Whether this mixture of Hager makes soluble pyroxy- 
lon I cannot say. I have used mixtures approaching it in composition, 
but never with success. 

Am Jour. Pharm. 1 
June, 1877. j 


• I have had the most success with the following old formula in mak- 
ing pyroxylon ; in fact I have not yet had a failure with it : Mix in a 
mortar, of the proper size, 7 \ ounces of granulated nitrate of potassium 
and 6f fluidounces of sulphuric acid, and immediately steep in it, with 
the aid of the pestle, 180 grains of cotton, freed from impurities. Let 
stand 12 to 15 hours, wash the product thoroughly, first in cold and 
then in boiling water, and dry by means of a vapor-bath, or, if it is to 
be used immediately, displace the water by alcohol and express. There 
is another version of the same formula, saying: Wash, after five min- 
utes' immersion, in the mixture as above, first in cold and then in boil- 
ing water. If the latter is done, soluble pyroxylon will not be obtained. 
When the washing is performed in cold water alone the product will 
be soluble and explosive, but if it is completed in boiling water the pro- 
duct will lose its solubility but retain its explosiveness. The acid used 
in this formula may vary between 1*833 to 1*9 without necessitating 
a change in the proportion. 

When a mixture of acid, nitrate of potassium and cotton has stood 
12 to 15 hours it will have formed into a solid cake, which it takes 
some time to soften sufficiently that the pyroxylon may be conveni- 
ently and thoroughly washed. This is performed first in cold and then 
in boiling water, the latter in this instance not affecting the solubility 
of the product in the least. By both of these manipulations, viz., 12 
to 15 hours' or 5 minutes' immersion, soluble pyroxylon is obtained, 
providing no boiling water for washing is used after the latter. 

To see whether the temperature of the mixture had any appreciable 
influence on the solubility of the product, instead of adding the cotton 
immediately after mixing the nitrate of potassium and sulphuric acid, 
the mixture was placed aside for an hour, stirring it in the meantime 
three or four times to prevent caking. Upon mixture, the tempera- 
ture rose to I22°F., and in one hour it had fallen to 78 . The mix- 
ture now had a viscid consistence something like granulated honey, and 
it was found somewhat difficult to incorporate the cotton. After 24 
hours the product was thoroughly washed and dried, and proved to be 
perfectly soluble. This proves tolerably certain that the temperature 
of the mixture does not exert any influence in making soluble pyroxylon 
by this process. 

Whether the nitrate of potassium formula can be used for the manu- 


Liniment Iodide of Ammonia. 

1 Am. Jour. Pharm, 
/ June, 1877. 

facture of pyroxylon on the large scale I cannot say, not having worked 
on more, at any one time, than one ounce of cotton. 

I have pyroxylon on hand, prepared according to this formula two- 
and-a-half years ago, which has not undergone the slightest change, but 
is as soluble now as when first made. It has been kept in the dry state 
in a common flint-glass ground stoppered bottle, and not protected 
from the light. Some other specimens, treated the same way appar- 
ently, would, in the course of a couple of months, decompose. This 
is a tolerably certain indication that the washing was defective. This 
ought to be done in a most thorough manner, first using clear water, 
then some alkaline solution to saturate any trace of acid, and lastly, 
again clear water, and then boiling water to remove tht alkali. Cotton, 
when changed to pyroxylon, increases considerably in weight ; 180 
grains were found to weigh 290 grains, or 61 per cent, increase in 

Finally, I cannot but say that although the formulae of the " Phar- 
macopoeia," if strictly followed, will give good results, still, even if not 
very strictly followed or not very carefully manipulated, by the nitrate 
of potassium formula I have always obtained uniformly soluble pyroxy- 

Lowell, N. St. Louis, Mo. 


By Theodore G. Davis, Ph.G. 

I was induced, from the large amount of advertising and high testi- 
monials given to " Giles' Liniment Iodide of Ammonia," to look 
into its composition with a view of framing a satisfactory formula, 
should such prove a desirable addition to our list of liniments. It 
smells strongly ammoniacal, slightly camphoraceous and lavender-like ; 
when mixed with water it becomes milky, and globules of oil may be 
seen floating on the surface. Iodine could not be detected by chlorine 
water and starch, nor was any precipitate produced when boiled with 
hydrate of potassium until all odor of ammonia had disappeared, acid- 
ulated and tested with acetate of lead and mercuric chloride. A quan- 
tity was evaporated, by means of a water-bath, to a small bulk, thus 
getting rid of the oil of lavender, alcohol, and greater part of the am- 
monia ; water was added, and the whole thrown on a filter, thus sepa- 

Am. Jour. Pharm 1 
June, 1877. J 

Creasote and Carbolic Acid. 


rating the camphor; a portion of the filtrate was neutralized with mu- 
riatic acid and tested by cupric and ferrous sulphates ; it did not yield a 
precipitate. I then estimated, with nitrate of silver, the quantity of 
iodine, and found one-tenth grain as iodide of ammonium. 

From the results of a number of experiments, the following would 
give a very similar preparation, containing sufficient " iodide of ammo- 
nia " to give it a name. 

Take of Iodide of Ammonium, grs. ii 


Oil of Lavender, ad^i 
Water of Ammonia, ^iv 
Alcohol sufficient to make Oi 


If a liniment of iodide of ammonium should prove desirable, I would 
suggest the following, as containing iodine in a form of combination — 
iodide and iodate, most favorable for absorption and the elimination of 
free iodine. 

Take of Water of Ammonia, (10 per ct.) f^ii 

Glycerin, or 

as I prefer, Soap Liniment, f^ii 

Tincture of Iodine, f^viii 

Alcohol, f^iv or q. s. 

Mix the soap liniment (or glycerin) with the tincture of iodine and 
add the alcohol and ammonia ; shake and add alcahol to make one pint. 
When first mixed it is of a ruby red color, but in two or three days 
becomes colorless, affording a cleanly preparation, which may be 
appropriately called a liniment of " iodide of ammonia, " but the cor- 
rect name of which would be Linimentum ammonii iodidi et iodatis. 

Bridget on, May $th, 1877. 


By Adolph Graetzel. 1 

In England, Morson's creasote is preferred to beechwood-tar creasote,, 
on account of its pleasant oder. Comparative experiments were made 
with it, and with the following substances : crystallized carbolic acid ? 
commercial beechwood-tar creasote, highly purified and distilling com- 

1 Translated and abridged from "Archivder Pharmacie, 11 Feb., 1877, by E. Lam- 


3o6 Creasote and Carbolic Acid. {^j&ST^ 

pletely between 200-226°C; further, guaiacol and creasol which were 
produced from the potassium compound of creasol, purified by 
repeated crystallization from alcohol and ether, and then obtained by 
fractional distillation. The creasote and carbolic acid were dissolved in 
hot water, allowed to cool and then filtered. 

A. The aqueous solution of: 

To ij cc. of test - fluid 
added one drop of : 


BeecJvwood tar Creasote Carbolic Acid. 


Morson' s Creasote. 

Ferric chloride (cryst.) dis- 
solved in 10 pts. of water 

First blue, then brown; 
after standing, orange 

Violet, lasting 

First blue, then olive- 
green, at last dirty yel- 

On further addition 

Dark-brown precipitate 

Violet, lasting 

Light-brown precipitate 

Ferric acetate dry, dis- 
solved in 10 pts. of water 

Brown, afterwards turn- 
ing somewhat to violet, 
and at last brown pre- 

Brown and clear solution 

Same as carbolic acid 

Ferrous sulphate, dry, dis- 
solved in 20 pts. of water 

Blue, then acquiring a vi- 
olet tint, and at last 
brown precipitate 

Violet, lasting, without 

On dropping in, grass- 
green ; then yellow pre- 

ILead nitrate, dissolved in 
10 pts. of water 

Clear, without effect 

Turbidness ; after stand- 
ing, a little precipitate 

Same as carbolic acid 

Stannous chloride. dissolved 
10 parts of water 

White precipitate, solu- 
ble in excess of stan- 
nous chloride 

Slight precipitate; insol- 
uble in excess 

Same as carbolic acid 

Neutral acetate of lead, dis- 
solved in 10 pts. of water 

White precipitate, solu- 
ble in excess 

Slight precipitate; solu- 
uble in excess 

White precipitate ; only 
partially soluble in ex- 

B. 1 part Creasote, or Carbolic Acid, in 10 parts of Alcohol (92 per cent., Tralles). 

Aqueous solution of ferric 
chloride with one drop : 

On dropping in, blue; 
then green 

On dropping in, violet; 
then green 

On dropping in, green ; 
then beautiful cerulean 

C. Creasote and Carbolic Acid, unmixed. 

With saturated alcoholic 
solution of ferric chloride 
adding 1 drop : 

On the addition of more 
drops : 

Dirty violet 

On dropping in, yellow- 
ish-green ; then brown 

On dropping in, green ; 
then turbid light-brown 

Immediately green 

Immediately green 

Immediately green 

Chemically pure guaiacol and creasol behaved with the above 
reagents like beechwood tar creasote. 

Further was tried the behavior of glycerin towards creasote, in the 
hope of finding a reagent bv the aid of which the amount of carbolic 
acid in adulterated creasote could be determined. The result confirmed 
Read's observation ("Am. Jour. Phar.," 1874, p. 292) that Morson's 

Am. Jour. Pharm. 
June> 1877. 

Creasote and Carbolic Acid, 


creasote is insoluable in glycerin, spec. gr. 1*250, while carbolic acid 
forms a clear solution. Beechwood tar creasote behaves quite differently. 
It does not dissolve in glycerin but when shaken with it cold takes 
■up 92 per cent., a part of which separates again on warming, only 50 
per cent, glycerin remaining dissolved. An addition of only 5 per 
cent, carbolic acid produces a clear solution of glycerin in creasote. 
But if 10 per cent, or more of oil of turpentine is added to beech- 
wood-tar creasote, it becomes insoluable in glycerin like Morson's 
•creasote. The insolubility in glycerin, mentioned on Morson's labels, 
is therefore only a criterion for an impure article. The behavior 
towards ammonia, as mentioned by Read, was tried with solution of 
ammonia of 0*940 sp. gr. Beechwood-tar creasote, as well as Morson's 
creasote, took up only 15 per cent, of ammonia water, and the addition 
of 10 per cent, carbolic acid did not produce any change; but 15 per 
cent, of carbolic acid caused 5 per cent, more of the ammonia water to be 
taken up. It was ascertained that carbolic acid will produce a clear 
solution only with 25 per cent, of ammonia water, sp. gr. 0*940, and 
that if more be added, will separate again. Creasote in an alcoholic 
solution will separate on the addition of ammonia water, sp. gr. 0*940, 
even if it is mixed with carbolic acid, while an alcoholic solution of 
carbolic acid will remain clear on the addition of any quantity of 
ammonia water. 

The ammonia which was not taken up by Morson's or beechwood- 
tar creasote, acquired after several hours a dirty yellow, and after 24 
hours a dirty olive-green coloration ; while the creasotes saturated with 
the ammonia water became yellow. Alcoholic solutions of the cresotes, 
treated with water of ammonia, produced after a few hours a beautiful 
olive-green coloration. 

Carbolic acid treated with ammonia became violet, while the undis- 
ammonia remained colorless. 

Chemically pure guaiacol gave with ammonia solution (sp. grav. 
0*940), immediately, a white crystalline combination, which was not 
soluble in an excess of ammonia ; the fluid portion not taken up by 
the guaiacol became intensively green after several hours. 

Experiments made with pure guaiacol by boiling with nitric acid 
resulted in the production of oxalic and picric acids ; and pure guaia- 
col, creasol and creasote gave a blue reaction with anilin and hypochlo- 

308 Creasote and Carbolic Acid. { Am jin"i8 P 7 h 7 ? rm ' 

rite of sodium, which Prof. Jacquemin (1875) regarded as character- 
istic for carbolic acid. 

Carbolic acid produces with bromine water a dense white precipitate 
of tribromphenol ; a similar but orange-colored compound is formed 
with creasote. 

The "British Pharmacopoeia" mentions among the qualities of cre- 
asote, also : U A slip of deal dipped into creasote, and afterwards into 
hydrochloric acid, acquires, on exposure for a short time to the air, a 
greenish-blue color." 

But this coloration of pinewood is obtained, not only with creasote,. 
but also with carbolic acid and muriatic acid, and is, according to Tie- 
mann and Haarmann, a characteristic reaction of coniferin. 

From the above may be seen that the different reactions suggested 
for creasote and carbolic acid can only be relied on if each product is in 
a chemically pure condition, but that it is difficult to prove adultera- 
tions of creasote with carbolic acid if the addition is made in a propor- 
tion not exceeding 15 or 20 per cent. 

The above reactions have already shown that Morson's creasote 
widely differs from beechwood-tar creasote, a fact which was confirmed 
by the further investigations. After treating it with caustic lye, an 
intense odor of a fine quality of oil of turpentine appeared, to which, 
the pleasant odor of English creasote is due. 

The high boiling point of 214 to 239 C. leads to the suspicion that 
it contains, also, other oils, which, however, are very difficult to sep- 

The author has had no difficulty in obtaining from pinewood-tar a 
product exactly like Morson's creasote, and this seems to be its true 
source. While the purification of beechwood-tar creasote is connected, 
with great difficulties, the preparation of such a mixed body as pine- 
wood-tar creasote is very easy. 

But this is lacking the principal constituent of beechwood-tar cre- 
asote — guaiacol, and, considering the great quantity of foreign substances 
in Morson's creasote which have not been investigated, its physiologi- 
cal and medicinal qualities cannot be equal to beechwood-tar creasote. 
The medicinal qualities of pinewood-tar creasote, on account of its- 
impure condition, might often have just the opposite effect of what we 
are entitled to expect from beechwood-tar creasote, and it should be 
rejected, therefore, as unfit for pharmaceutical purposes. 

Am june;x8 7 h 7 arm } The Rotatory Power of Volatile Oils. 309 

Pure beechwood-tar creasote consists chiefly of guaiacol, with a 
little creasol, and should have the following qualities : 

It is a colorless, or nearly colorless, oily fluid, of 1*08 sp. grav., dis- 
tilling, unaltered, between 200 and 250 C. After exposure to light 
for several months, even in open glasses, Jt should only become light- 
yellow (wine color), and not red. Creasote which turns red contains 
foreign bodies, and is not fit for medicinal use. It must be entirely 
soluble in caustic lye, and on the addition of water carbohydrogen oils 
should not separate. Most of these are very difficult to remove, and 
possess a disagreeable odor. It should answer to the above-mentioned 
tests, and be soluble in 80 parts of cold water. Boiling water takes 
up a larger quantity, but separates it again after several days. It 
takes up 50 per cent, of its volume of glycerin — sp. gravity 1*250. 

An adulteration of creasote wrth carbolic acid can be approximately 
determined by fractional distillation, and especially by combining with 
a saturated alcoholic potash lye, and recrystallizing from ether. The 
carbolic acid enters the mother-liquor, from which it may be separated 
by an acid, and its presence proved by another distillation. 


By F. A. Fluckiger. 1 

If we say that the solid or fluid (at the ordinary temperature) ether- 
eal oils are the bearers of the odor and mostly also of the taste of the 
respective plants, this sentence will pretty well express the general idea 
of the nature of the ethereal oils and stearoptens. Though little 
accurate, it is still easier to dispute this definition than to give a more 
satisfactory one. Some volatile oils, which are liquid at I7°C, have 
•very little odor, as for instance the oil of the seeds of Nigella sativa, 
and amongst the solid parts of the ethereal oils many are entirely odor- 
less, like the crystallizable parts of rose- and bergamot-oil. The odor 
is therefore not an indispensable necessary quality of these bodies, 
neither is the distillability, as many of the oils are not distillable to the 
last drop. 

If we must acknowledge that no quality can be mentioned as being 

1 Abstract from a paper published in " Archiv der Pharmacie," March, translated 
by Edward Lamhofer. 

3 io The Rotatory Power of Volatile Oils. { Am )^;^ m 

unexceptionally common to all these bodies, we must admit the cor- 
rectness of the negative affirmation, that not one of the so-called 
ethereal oils is an unmixed body — a. pure, definite chemical compound. 
Nearest to it are the volatile oils of mustard and bitter almond. Even 
the numerous terebens of tlfe simple formula (C 5 H 8 ) seem to be mix- 
tures, probably of C 10 H 16 ,C 15 H 24 ,C 20 H 32 , and the slight generation of 
gas, which commences in the cold when oil of turpentine is acted upon 
by sodium, indicates oxygen, although oxidized substances (water ?) 
are only present in a very limited quantity in the hydrocarbons of the 
abietineae and of most aurantiaceae. We must therefore always remem- 
ber that volatile oils are mixtures, and naturally mixtures in various 
proportions, a fact which is readily observed in the oils of parsley fruit 
and of Mentha rotundifolia. The yield of the former is one-half per 
cent., and if the distillate is left undisturbed at about 25°C, it will 
separate in nearly two equal parts, one rising to the surface, the other 
sinking to the bottom of the water ; both portions turn the plane of 
polarization to the left, the last one much less than the first. The 
oil of wild-grown Mentha rotundifolia, which was prepared in July, 
1876, showed at a column length of 50 mill, a deviation of 39*2° to 
the left, while a sample prepared in September of the same year showed 
only half as much. Daily experience teaches us further that the 
chemical and physical properties of ethereal oils, and especially the 
fluid ones, are more subject to considerable changes than many other 
organic substances. These observations bring the author to the con- 
clusion that the rotatory power of ethereal oils cannot serve as a means- 
of recognition. 

A small minority of ethereal oils is incapable of turning the 
plane of polarization. It is remarkable that among these are the oils 
of mustard and bitter almond, and several more, whose chemical consti- 
tution is also better known than the majority of the others. To this 
class belong the oils of anise, gaultheria, cloves, thyme and cinnamon, 
as far as their well-investigated principal constituents are concerned,, 
which are lacking the rotating power. This is in fact wanting in 

Anethol C 6 H 4 j g"™ s Salicylate of Methyl C 6 H 4 j cooCH 3 , E "genol 

(OCH3 rCH 3 
C,HJ OH Thymol C,HA OH and also in the Cinnamic 

6 3 1CH=CH-CH 3 , / 6 3 lCsH 7 , 

Aldehyd C 6 H 5 — CH=CH — COH and the principal constituent of 


} The Rotatory Power of Volatile Oils. 3 1 1 

sassafras oil, the Safrol C 10 H 10 O 2 whose chemical constitution is still 
unknown, but may bear some relation to Anethol C 10 H l2 O, and Eugenoi 
C 10 H 12 2 . Mustard oil and oil of bitter almonds do not rotate at 
all, the other six oils only in a slight degree on account of containing 
traces of other volatile oils, probably Carbohydrogens. 

The addition of oils able to turn the plane of polarization may be 
easily detected in oils which do not affect polarized light. We must 
declare mustard oil or oil of bitter almonds as impure, which shows 
only the least rotating power, and also oil of anise, staranise, gaultheria^ 
cloves, rose, sassafras, cinnamon, which, in the tube of Wild's Polar- 
istrobometer of 50 millimeters length, would indicate more than a few 
degrees. But the possibility of an adulteration is not excluded, although 
the samples of these oils may not show any rotating power. If 
there were a cheap ethereal oil which would not affect the plane of 
polarization, it would be an excellent means in the hand of aix 
adulterator for diluting the more expensive oils. Such an oil is scarcely 
to be found in nature, but may be easily prepared. 

The American oil of turpentine, of Pinus australis or Pinus Taeda^. 
and the oil of Abies excelsa, turn to the right ; the French oil of tur- 
pentine of Pinus maritima (Pinus Pinaster) and of other species,, 
strongly to the left. By preparing a mixture of such two oils, acting 
in opposite direction, it would be comparatively easy to obtain an oil 
without effect on polarized light. Oil of turpentine is by no means 
the only one possessing such properties. Sainte-Claire Deville found 
oil of elemi to have a left rotation ; the author observed a right one in 
oil of Manila elemi. Carvol from caraway turns to the right, from 
crisped mint to the left. Some camphors, gums, sugars, organic acids 
and alkaloids are cited as compounds, either chemically identical or 
closelv related, and still of very different optical behavior. 

Mixtures in which the rotatory power of one substance is neutralized 
by the opposite action of another accompanying body, are to be ex- 
pected in nature, and in fact, present. Very probably changes are 
naturally produced by various unknown causes. 

In turpentines we find very often constituents of opposite rotating 
power. Venice turpentine, for instance, if diluted with aceton or 
benzin, turns to the right ; the oil distilled from it to the left, and 
the remaining resin to the right. Canada balsam and Strassburg tur- 
pentine have a similar behavior. It is therefore to be assumed that 

312 The Rotatory Power of Volatile Oils. { Am jJ^- I f 7 h 7 arm - 

the magnitude of rotating power of such mixed bodies as ethereal oils 
is the product of different co-operating factors. If the constituents of 
the oils were always mixed in the same proportions, the rotating power 
might also remain the same. The author discusses also the effect of 
solvents upon the rotating power, the variation in this respect of un- 
doubtedly genuine volatile oils, the similarity in the behavior of very 
different oils, etc., and concerning the value of the rotating power as 
a test for volatile oils, arrives at the following conclusions : 

I. Among the constituents of volatile oils are both rotating and 

II. The rotating power of an oil is the product of the rotatory 
power of its single constituents. 

III. These constituents, being present in changeable proportions, it 
is on this account that one and the same oil does not always exhibit the 
same rotating power. 

IV. A second reason is to be looked for in the fact that a body of 
a definite chemical composition, for instance the molecule C 10 H 16 , on 
keeping, may undergo chemical changes (by taking up O or OH 2 ) which 
would also affect the optical qualities of the oil. 

V. The rotation is further influenced by the quality and quantity of 
substances, which themselves have no effect on the plane of polariza- 

VI. The same influence is to be expected in mixtures, in which 
several optically active substances are present. How complicated 
these qualities may, and in ethereal oils certainly must be, will be 
illustrated by the following considerations : A is an optically indiffer- 
ent stearopten, dissolved in B, a left turning terebene, and accompanied 
by C — perhaps produced by oxidation of the former, and acting to the 
right. The rotation of the oil will in the first line depend on the 
relative proportions of B and C ; should C have a much higher boiling 
point than B, a slight variation in the process of distillation alone would 
be sufficient to produce considerable differences in the volatile oil of 
the same plant. Another question would be whether the presence of 
" A," regardless of the simple fact of dilution, would not affect the 
optical qualities of " B " and " C." 

VII. Although the rotating power is the result of different co- 
operating powers, we must further consider that even these results, 
according to " IV," cannot be accepted as unchangeable. 

Am jine"'i8 7 h 7 arm *} Gleanings from the Foreign Journals. 313 

VIII. The genuineness of optically indifferent volatile oils, and of 
such whose principal constituents are optically indifferent, can, for the 
reasons stated, only be inferred with caution if they show none or only 
very little rotating power. 

The author comes to the conclusion that the rotating power of 
volatile oils is of no real practical value to the pharmacist, although he 
would not like to see it omitted in a full scientific characteristic. 


By t.he Editor. 

Preservation of Aqueous Solutions of Tartaric Acid. — Witt- 
stein has, as early as 1842, directed attention to the fact that the floc- 
culent masses which appear in a solution of tartaric acid soon after it 
has been made, is not caused by the decomposition of the acid. It 
being desirable to have such a solution on hand for analytical purposes, 
he has-tried the preservative effects of salicylic acid with complete suc- 
cess in a solution made with 1 part of tartaric acid, 5 parts of water, 
and one one-thousandth part of salicylic acid. After three months it 
was as clear as when first made. — Zeitschr. Oest. Apoth. Ver., No. 7. 

Beech Tar Creasote. — F. Tiemann and B. Mendelsohn have made 
the following observations : The fraction of creasote boiling at 220°C. 
consists mainly of creosol and phlorol, most of the former of which is 
separated as potassium salt bv dissolving the oily liquid in its own vol- 
ume of ether, and adding to it a concentrated alcoholic solution of 
potassa ; creosol =C 8 H 10 O 2 is liberated by an acid ; when boiled for 
several hours with acetic anhydrid, it is converted into acetylcreosol 
=C 10 H 12 O 3 , an oily liquid, from which vanillic acid =C 8 H 8 4 may be 
obtained by diffusing the former in diluted acetic acid and oxidizing 
with a slight excess of potassium permanganate, neutralizing with soda, 
evaporating to a small bulk, acidulating with sulphuric acid and agita- 
tion with ether ; on the evaporation of the ether vanillic acid is left, 
which, when pure, is inodorous. 

The mother-liquor from the potassium creosol contains phlorol 
=C 8 H 10 O, which was converted into methyl-phlorol, and from this, 
by boiling with potassium permanganate, oxyphtalic acid =C 8 H 6 5 
was obtained. — Ber. d. Chem. Ges., 1877, p. 57-63. 

3 1 4 Gleanings from the Foreign Journals. { Am ju£e^ 7 h 7 ? rm ' 

Testing of Salicylic Acid. — H. Kolbe recommends to dissolve 
a little of the acid in 10 times its weight of strong alcohol, and to allow 
the solution to evaporate spontaneously from a watch crystal. The 
remaining salicylic acid will form a crystalline ring, which is perfectlv 
white if the acid was strictly pure, but will be of a yellowish or yellow 
color if it was precipitated merely without further purification. If the 
residue has a brown color it should be rejected for medicinal purposes 
purposes, even if the powder was white. — Pha^. Centralh., 1876, No. 49. 

Hager states that pure salicylic acid, equal in volume to the size of 
a bean, will yield after agitation with about 5 cc. of pure sulphuric acid 
a colorless solution, while others which yielded a white residue from 
the alcoholic solution rendered yellowish to brown-yellow solutions. — 
Ibid., No. 51. 

Test for the Presence of Carbolic in Salicylic Acid.— Prof. 
Alm£n employs for this purpose ammonia and chlorinated soda, which 
produce with carbolic acid a blue color, turning red by acids and blue 
again on the addition of an alkali. Solutions of phenol, containing one 
in 5,000, produce the color at once ; solutions one in 50,000, only after 
24 hours. Salicylic acid does not give this reaction. It is important 
that an excess of chlorine be avoided, and that sufficient ammonia be 
added to impart an alkaline reaction. — Phar. Zeitung. 

Dispensing of Salicylic Acid. — In case salicylic acid be prescribed 
with water in insufficient quantity to yield a permanent solution, James 
W. White recommends to dispense it suspended by the aid of traga- 
canth, 20 grains of which will be sufficient for a 6 oz. mixture. A good 
pill mass will be obtained by beating salicylic acid with one-tenth its 
weight of borax and the same quantity of glycerin ; 6 grains of the 
mass represent 5 grains of acid, and do not form an inconveniently large 
pill. — Phar. Journ. and Trans., Dec. 16, 1876. 

Hydriodic Acid. — Prof. H. Kolbe finds the following the most 
satisfactory method for preparing this acid : A retort containing 10 
parts of iodine is filled with carbonic acid gas \ afterwards 1 part of 
phosphorus is introduced in small quantities, heat is then applied for a 
short time to the liquid mixture of bi- and teriodide of phosphorus, and 
when cooled again 4 parts of water are added. A copious evolution of 
hydriodic acid gas, free from iodine, takes place on the application of 
a moderate heat. — Jour. f. prakt. Chem., 1877, p. 172. 

Am j{ n U e%877 arm *} Gleanings from the Foreign Journals. 315 

Artificial cherry-laurel water, resembling in odor and composition 
that obtained by distillation from the leaves, may be prepared, accord- 
ing to A. Ripping of Rotterdam, by dissolving 6 grams of oil of cherry- 
laurel and 4*5 grams cyanide of potassium in one half liter of water, and 
distilling over a direct fire from a tubulated retort, a current of carbonic 
acid gas being passed through it at the same time. (The distillate is 
afterwards diluted with distilled water so as to contain one-tenth per 
cent. HCy.) Thus prepared it is free from formic acid, and contains 
variable quantities of ammonium cyanide, like the water obtained from 
the leaves ; if oil of bitter almonds be substituted for the cherry-laurel 
oil, a preparation very different in odor is obtained. — Archiv d. Phar. y 
Dec, 1876, 526-531. 

The best emulsion of chloroform, according to Jaillard, is ob- 
tained by agitating it with 100 times its quantity, or more, of milk, 
which may be sweetened ; it thereby becomes very finely divided, and 
remains permanently suspended. — DUniver. Pharm., 1876, p. 323. 

Antispasmodic Potion. — Jeannel recommends the following for- 
mula, proposed by Hermant, as a valuable substitute in such cases 
where the bulk of the officinal (French) preparation is an objection : 
Oil of peppermint 1 gram, 80 per cent, alcohol 6 grams, Sydenham's 
laudanum 10 grams, ether 30 grams. Ten drops of this mixture, 
added to a tablespoonful of water, are stated to represent 15 grams of 
the former. — Jour, de Phar. d'Jnv., 1877, p. 72. 

The French u Codex " cantains a formula for antispasmodic potion 
and one for opiated antispasmodic potion ; the former is made by mix- 
ing syrup of orange flowers 30 grams, orange-flower water 30 grams, 
linden-flower water 90 grams, and ether 2 grams. The latter is directed 
to be made with syrup of opium 15 grams, simple syrup 10 grams, 
orange-flower water 15 grams, water 100 grams, and ether 1 gram. 

Iodoform Pencils have been recommended by Dr. Gallard in the 
treatment of superficial ulcerations of the neck of the uterus, by intro- 
ducing them to the ulcerated part and keeping them in position by 
means of a plug of cotton. They are made by intimately mixing 10 
grams of iodoform with 0*5 grm. gum arabic and with mucilage, form- 
ing a pill mass, which is to be divided into 10 cylinders of 4 centime- 
ters (about \\ inch) length, when they are dried in the air and pre- 
served from contact with the light. — Union Med.^ Jan. 7. 

3 1 6 Gleanings from the Foreign Journals. { Am ){Z%i^ m ' 

Change of Cantharidin in Cantharides. — R. Wolff, of Buenos 
Ayres, used for his experiments Lytta aspersa, which is there generally 
employed. On treating 100 grms. with ether, '815 grm. cantharidin 
was obtained, besides some fixed oil which, after saponification, yielded 
-04 grm. more of that principle. The lytta, exhausted with ether, 
was now extracted with warm water, the liquid evaporated to a syrupy 
consistence and precipitated with barium chloride. The washed brown 
precipitate was mixed with an excess of hydrochloric acid, evaporated 
to dryness and the residue exhausted with chloroform, which on evap- 
oration and washing with ether left "46 grm. of white tabular crystals 
which possess vesicating properties, are soluble in water, more in 
alcohol and ether, and rather freely in chloroform and acetic ether. 
On evaporating the latter solution, cantharidin is left. It is soluble in 
sulphuric acid, and on the addition of water cantharidin is precipitated, 
sulphate of ammonium remaining in solution. From its solution in 
potassa, it is separated in an unaltered condition on neutralization with 
an acid. Boiling with ammonia and evaporation to dryness causes this 
cantharidin ammonia compound to combine with more ammonia. 

This second compound crystallizes from hot water in needles ; it is 
also vesicating, but is slightly soluble even in hot alcohol, ether and 
chloroform ; but dissolves in acetic ether which, on evaporation, leaves 
•cantharidin. It dissolves in sulphuric acid, from which solution no 
precipitation is effected by water. Acids seem to combine with it, for 
when its solution in muriatic acid is evaporated to dryness, the residue 
is freely soluble in hot water and precipitated by silver nitrate, the pre- 
cipitate being insoluble in nitric acid. Heated with potassa, it is partly 
decomposed into the first described ammonia compound. 

If cantharidin is dissolved in potassa, the solution precipitated by a 
salt of zinc (or copper, or magnesia), the precipitate redissolved in 
ammonia, and the solution supersaturated with an acid, the first-described 
ammonia compound is separated in crystalline granules. A similar 
•reaction takes place, probably, in cantharides ; they contain magnesium 
•salts, and when ammonia is generated in them through the agency of 
moisture, the conditions for the formation of that compound are pre- 
sent. The above results explain also why larger yields of cantharidin 
are obtained by treatment with acetic ether. 

The author argues in favor of preparations of cantharidin in place 
of the deteriorating and therefore unreliable cantharides. — Archiv d. 
Phar., Jan., 1877, p. 22-30. 

Am. Jour. Pharm. ) 
June, 1877. / 



Cholesterin in Urine. — A. Poehl has found -25 per cent, of choles- 
terin in the urine of an epileptic patient who had taken large quantities 
of bromide of potassium. It was readily extracted from the urine by 
agitating it with ether, and contained then a biliary acid, probably 
glycocholic. — Phar. Zeitscbr. f. RussL, 1876, p. 737-740. 


Pharmaceutical Schools.— The healing art has, for ages, embraced both the 
application of therapeutical knowledge and the supply and preparation of remedial 
agents j and, until the separation of these branches as the arts of medicine and of 
pharmacy, at a comparatively recent time, the history of medicine, and of medical 
schools and literature embodied that of pharmacy 5 while, on the other hand, at an 
earlier period, both medicine and pharmacy were merged, to a large extent, in the 
pursuits and history of alchemy. Aside from the earliest traditions of the first crude 
stages of medical and pharmaceutical science in Egypt, at so remote an age as the 
sixteenth century B. C, as recorded in the " Papyrus Ebers," the art of pharmacy, 
as a special branch of that of medicine, seems to have been first practiced among 
the Arabs j and establishments, recognized for the supply of remedial agents are 
said to have been first instituted in Bagdad, in the year 754 A. D. The first syste- 
matic attempt at a methodical collection and classification of recognized formula is 
said to have been compiled by the Arab physician and philosopher Sabor ebn Sahel,. 
in the latter part of the ninth century. In conjunction with medicine, pharmacy 
was first taught, as a branch of university instruction, at the celebrated school at 
Salerno. During the following centuries, the establishing of pharmacies and mea- 
sures for a legal regulation of the art of pharmacy extended into Western Europe,, 
and the newly established universities became centers of research and learning. Yet 
the absorbing problems of the transmutation of base metals into gold, and of the 
existence of a universal remedy, potent to avert disease, to heal sickness, to maintain 
or restore youth, and to prolong life, for centuries engaged the aims and inspired the 
efforts of the wisest and most learned men, in a search throughout nature for the 
" philosopher's stone " and the " elixir of life." The long pursuit of these phan- 
toms, and the visionary but most productive speculations of alchemy, resulted in 
the accumulation of a vast amount of chemical and physical knowledge, and in the 
most important discoveries in the domain of chemical operations, processes and 
products. These added largely to the compass of the materia medica, and contrib- 
uted much to prepare that revolution in the intellectual world, no less than in the 
material resources of men, which, at the close of the last century, culminated in the 
overthrow of old ideas and systems, and laid a foundation for the modern theories 
of chemical philosophy, for the subsequent wonderful strides in their practical appli- 
cations to all the affairs of industrial and social life, and for their productive influ- 
ence upon the advancement of physiological, pharmaceutical and analytical chem- 

During the struggles of this remarkable revolution, which, among its other results, 


f Am. Jour. Pharm. 
( June, 1877. 

separated medicine and pharmacy as independent correlative brandies, the latter 
was the leading and most successful cultivator of chemistry, and attained at that 
time, and especially at the close of the last and the first half of the present century, 
in continental Europe, its culmination. It supplied from among its ranks the newly 
created chairs both of chemistry and of pharmacy, and frequently of botany also, 
at the universities and special schools for medicine, pharmacy, agriculture and 
kindred arts; the increasing branches of chemical industry and manufacrure, too, 
were largely and successfully occupied and cultivated by pharmacists. Pharmacy 
emancipated itself more and more, in the civilized countries, from co-education with 
and subordination to medicine; special schools, or at the universities, special chairs, 
for instruction in pharmaceutical chemistry and pharmacognosy, were established ; 
and both the standard of qualification and the practice of pharmacy, like that of 
medicine, were restricted and controlled by the State. Since the middle of the pre- 
sent century, by the rapid strides in the progress and application of the physical sci- 
ences, particularly of chemistry in its various relations, the position of pharmacy has 
somewhat changed. Chemistry has risen to a commanding station among the phy- 
sical sciences, and in the industry and wealth of nations; its application in the man- 
ufacture and supply of all chemical products cheaply on a commercial scale, has 
largely deprived the pharmacist of one of the original and most important and 
instructive objects of his pursuit — the preparation of medicinal chemicals and many 
of the pharmaceutical products. 1 On the other hand, pharmacy is losing scope by 
the decrease in the use of medicines, in consequence of the general increase of hygi- 
enic knowledge, and the progress of medical science. The former preeminently 
professional character of pharmacy has, in consequence, gradually given way to a 
more mercantile and trade aspect. But, notwithstanding the diminution of its 
resources and of its former scope of application, the requisite standard of profi- 
ciency is, as yet, everywhere maintained ; and, in countries of a growing civiliza- 
tion, pharmaceutical education is continually and correspondingly raised. Most 
countries, therefore, at present, either have special schools for the higher education 
of pharmacists, or else afford instruction in the pharmaceutical branches at universi- 
ties, or medical or technical institutions. 

In the amount of the preparatory education required, the high standard of scien- 
tific and practical qualification, and the restrictions enforced by law and controlled 
by the government, Germany ranks highest. The candidate for apprenticeship 
must have attained maturity for the second class (Ober-Secunda) of the gymnasium, 
or must have passed through a realschool. The apprenticeship must last three 
years, during which time the pupil's progress, and the obligatory instruction by his 
master, are controlled by annual examinations by a delegate of the district govern- 
ment. At the close of the apprenticeship, and after successfully passing an exami- 
nation before a board, also appointed by the district government, the candidate has 
to complete his practical experience by serving for three years more as clerk; and 
he is then entitled to enter upon the obligatory course of university study at any 
one of the twenty German universities. He is free to attend such lectures as he 
may choose; and, at the close of each lecture term, he may select another univer- 

iSee, also, Problems and Future of Pharmacy, "Am. Journ. Pharm ," July, 1874, p. 321. 

Am. Jour. Pharm. ) 
June, 1877. / 



sity, according to his option; while the state requires, with uncompromising severity, 
the satisfactory passage of a comprehensive final examination. To this the student 
is only admitted after having attended the lectures and laboratory instruction for at 
least three lecture terms (ij years); and, upon passing it, the state grants him a 
license for the practice of pharmacy throughout the empire. 1 Many graduates 
choose to acquire, by a continuation of university and laboratory studies, and by 
the subsequent passage of an examination before the philosophical faculty of a 
university, the degree of Phil.D. Similar, and nearly equally strict, is the course 
of pharmaceutical education and qualification in Austria, Hungary, Russia, Switzer- 
land, Sweden, Norway and Denmark; but somewhat less strict in Roumania, Italy 
and Greece. In France, pharmaceutical education is controlled by the state so far 
that students, after a more or less brief experience in drug-stores, have to attend, 
for one or two years, the lectures at one of the pharmaceutical schools at Paris, 
Nancy or Montpelier, or at the medical and pharmaceutical schools at Nantes or 
Marseilles, and subsequently must pass an examination. Upon the satisfactory 
passage of this, the student receives, according to the time of his study and the 
price he is able to pay, the diploma as a pharmacien of the first, or of the second 
class. The former is entitled to establish himself indiscriminately, while the latter 
is allowed to do so only in small cities. The standard of pharmaceutical education 
is somewhat higher in Belgium and the Netherlands, but perhaps less strict in prac- 
tical proficiency. The student has first to attend lectures, and then to attain skill 
and experience in pharmacy, when he is admitted to examination and subsequently 
to practice. In Spain and Portugal, the course of pharmaceutical education, and 
the qualification required on the part of the state, seem to be similar to those in 
France. The three Spanish universities in Madrid, Barcelona, and Granada, and 
the medical schools at Lisbon, Oporto and Coimbra, in Portugal, afford lectures to 
pharmaceutical students. Education in this department, in Turkey, while it is 
not uniformly obligatory, embraces an apprenticeship of three years, and a subse- 
quent attendance upon the lectures at the Imperial Institute, in Constantinople, 
which also has the direction of the examination, and grants licenses to those who 
apply for and pass it successfully. In Great Britain, the state has exerted an obli- 
gatory influence on the qualification of pharmacists since 1868; but it leaves this 
control to the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, and to the Privy Council. 
The only restriction consists in a registry statute, requiring two successive examina- 
tions: a preliminary one for registration as "apprentice or student," and a minor 
examination, for a license as " chemist and druggist," or a major examination for a 
liecnsi as t: pharmaceutical chemist." The state of pharmacy, and the standard of 
pharmaceutical education, in the various countries of Spanish and Portuguese 
America, is comparatively little known. In several of them, as for instance, in 
Mexico, Brazil, Peru, and others, the state exercises a more or less strict, although 
not uniformly efficient, control; while, in other states, either the qualification for 
the practice of pharmacy is not restricted, or the control is more nominal than real. 
Pharmaceutical education and practice in Canada stand in close relation to those of 
Great Britain and the United States. 

See also Pharmacy in the German Empire; "Am. Journ. Pharm.," Aug., Sept., 1871, pp. 337 and 389. 

3 2Q 


f Air. Jour. Pharm. 
\ June, 1877. 

The standard of pharmacy and pharmaceutical education in the United States is 
not uniform, because it is not obligatory 5 and until recently it has been left entirely 
to individual option and efforts. While sporadic attempts toward some kind of 
legal regulation have mostly failed of virtual effect, yet a strong and increasing body 
of accomplished pharmacists, largely strengthened by the immigrated German 
element, has grown up; and, by its influence and efforts, has contributed gradually 
to raise the standard of pharmacy, and to attain, in several states, and in a number 
of the largest cities, some authoritative control of the qualification of pharmacists. 
Chartered local associations (colleges of pharmacy) have been established in these 
cities and states, and they have, in pursuit of their aims and objects, founded schools 
of pharmacy. Chartered schools of pharmacy were in existence, in 1876, in the 
following cities: Philadelphia (founded in 1821),- New York (1831)5 Baltimore 
(1855); Chicago (1859) ; Boston ( 1 867) ; Ann Arbor (1868)5 Cincinnati (1 870) 5. 
St. Louis (1871)5 Louisville (1871)5 San Francisco (1872); Washington, D. C 
(1873); Nashville (1873). These institutions grant, upon their own mutually 
recognized authority, diplomas with the degree of Graduate of Pharmacy to those 
candidates, without regard as yet to their preliminary education, who have had 
experience in drug-stores for four years, have attended at least two courses of 
lectures at one of the pharmaceutical schools, or at some medical or kindred 
college, where chemistry, chemical analysis, botany, pharmacognosy, and practical 
pharmacy are taught, and who subsequently have passed a satisfactory examination 
before a board of trustees of the College of Pharmacy. The colleges and schools 
of pharmacy in the United States have thus far acted harmoniously in their volun- 
tary and successsful efforts for a gradual and uniform elevation of the scope and the 
standard of education a proficiency among pharmacists. The most serious draw- 
back to general and permanent results consists in the absence of any efficient 
authoritative national or state restriction and control of the practice of pharmacy , 
and in a consequent excessive and detrimental overcrowding of the profession, and 
for causes previously stated, in a general decrease in the compass of legitimate 
application, and in the resources and material prosperity of the art of pharmacy. 

F. Hoffmann. From advance sheets of " Kiddle and Schem's Cyclopaedia of Education." 

Pharmaceutical Statistics of France. — At the beginning of the present year there 
were in France 2,121 pharmacists of the first class and 4,089 of the second class — 
total, 6,210 pharmaciens. During the preceding ten years the number of first class 
pharmacists has decreased over 13 per cent., while those of the second class have 
increased over 22 per cent. In 1866, France had 2,457 pharmacists of the first and 
3,346 of the second class, the total number then being 5,803. The Department of 
the Seine alone has 820 pharmacists, of whom 495 are of the first and 325 of the 
second class. During the 73 years preceding January 1, 1876, there have been 
granted in France 16,650 pharmaceutical degrees. — Rep. de Phar. y 1877, p. 63. 

An excellent cement or paste, possessing great adhesive properties and applicable 
for leather, wood, etc., is obtained by coagulating milk by means of acetic acid, 

Am )une%8 7 h 7 ! rm ' } The American Pharmaceutical Association. 321 

washing the precipitated casein well with water, and dissolving it in a soda solution 
saturated in the cold, whereby a clear, thickish liquid is formed, leaving a glossy- 
residue. — Phar. HandelsbL, February 28. 

Ferric chromate is obtained, according to R. Kayser, by precipitating ferric 
chloride with neutral potassium chromate ; dried at 4o°C, it contains 34*58 per 
cent, ferric oxide and 65-42 per cent, chromic acid, is a light orange-colored powder, 
insoluble in water, easily soluble in acids, and fusible to a brown mass. As it is 
not altered by sulphuretted hydrogen, it is preferable to chromate of lead as a paint. 
— Zeits. Oester. Apotb. Ver. } No. 1, from Monit. des Prod. Chim., V, No. 20. 

Detection of Rosin in Shellac — F. Dietlen states that colophony imparts gloss 
to the dull fracture of shellac. Ligroin dissolves the former, but not the latter, and 
may be used for the estimation of rosin if used as an adulterant of shellac. — Ibid. f 
No. 5, from Dingl. Jour., ccxxi. 

Adulterated Wax. — It appears from a communication to the "Phar. Zeitung," 
No. 23, that an extensive trade is carried on from Stettin with wax adulterated with 
50 per cent, of resin. 

Chloral Cream A French pharmaceutical journal recommends the following as 

an agreeable formula for the administration of chloral : Take of finely-powdered 
sugar, 100 parts ; chloral hydrate, 5 parts ; water, 15 parts. Dissolve the chloral in the 
water, and triturate with the sugar in a mortar. An aromatic flavor is then obtained 
by the addition of the artificial essence of pineapple or the essence of peppermint. — 
Lancet and Observer, December, 1876. 

Ammoniacal tincture of musk is recommended by Prof. Lebert to be prepared of 
musk 1, carbonate of ammonium 1, distilled water 10, rectified alcohol 30 parts, 
essence of mint 2 drops. Dose, 25 to 30 drops in water or wine.--M^. Nevus and 
Library, March. 


The twenty-fifth annual meeting of the American Pharmaceutical Association 
will assemble in the City of Toronto, Canada, on Tuesday, the 4th of September, 
1877, at 3 o'clock P. M. 

Members of the Association who have accepted any of the Queries, or who will 
have any volunteer essay to present to the Association, will please forward to the 
Chairman of the Committee on Papers and Queries, William Mclntyre (2229 
Frankford avenue, Philadelphia), a synopsis of the same previous to the meeting, as 
required by the by-laws of the Association. 

Candidates for membership will please forward their applications, properly filled 
up, to the Chairman of the Executive Committee, George W. Kennedy, Pottsville, 

2 1 

322 Pharmaceutical Colleges and Associations. \ Km '-^;^ rm ' 

It is also requested that the delegates from the various bodies represented in the 
Association will have their credentials ready to be handed in at the first meeting. 

Charles Bullock, President. 

Philadelphia, June i, 1877. 


Massachusetts College of Pharmacy. — The following named officers were 
elected at the annual meeting: President, S. M. Colcord; Vice Presidents, T. L. 
Jenks and Wm. S. Folger ; Recording Secretary, D. G. Wilkins; Corresponding 
Secretary, G. F. H. Markoe 5 Treasurer, E. L. Patch ; Auditor, Chas. A. Tufts; 
Trustees — J. C. Melvin, J. T. Leary, Henry Canning, Chas. I. Eaton, I. B. Patten, 
G. H. Cowdin, B. F. Stacey, S. C. Tozzer. 

After the destruction of the college building, January, 1877, the School of 
Pharmacy was enabled to continue the courses of instruction through the friendly 
aid of the officers of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who placed their 
chemical lecture room and apparatus at the service of the school for the balance of the 
session of 1876-7. 

The Eleventh Annual Commencement took place in the parlor of the Revere 
House, on the evening of May 10, 1877 A Levee was held during the early part 
of the evening, and after an hour passed in social intercourse, the President, S. M. 
Colcord, conferred the degree of Graduate in Pharmacy upon the following named 
gentlemen : Henry Knox Appleton, Jr., Edwin Porter Burley, George William 
Flynn, George Melvin Huyt, Frank Bassett Meade, Jonathan Washburn Pratt, 
Francis Cook Simson, Geo. Howland Stoddard, John Townsend. A certificate of 
proficiency was presented to Miss Louise Baker. The valedictory was delivered 
by Prof. G. F. H. Markoe. The graduating exercises over, the company, to the 
number of one hundred, adjourned to the dining hall, and partook of an elegantly 
served dinner, given in honor of the class of '77. 

The New Jersey Pharmaceutical Association held its annual meeting at Apollo 
Hall, in the city of Newark, May 16, the President, H. P. Reynolds, in the chair. 
The President made an opening address, in which he spoke of the unusual interest 
attaching to this meeting, on account of the recent passage of the long-desired law 
to regulate the practice of pharmacy — which provides for the appointment by the 
Governor of a Board of Pharmacy to grant certificates of registration to such 
persons as are qualified to practice pharmacy, and to cause the prosecution of those 
practicing without such certificate. He stated that it now devolves upon the Asso- 
ciation to nominate to the Governor fifteen names, from which he shall select the 
board of five, and recommended that the Association constitute the five members 
who may compose the Board of Pharmacy, a committee to procure further legis- 

A committee was appointed to nominate fifteen members for presentation to 

Am june, r 'i8 7 h 7 arn1 ' } Pharmaceutical Colleges and Associations. 323 

Governor Bedle ; also a committee of three to report resolutions relative to the 
death of" the late C. W. Badger. 

The following names were selected by the Association to be sent to the Governor 
■to constitute the Board of Examiners, five of which are to be selected : 

Albert P. Brown, Camden ; Jos. L. DeLaCour, Camden ; Emmor H. Lee, Cam- 
den ; R Frohwein, Elizabeth; R W. Gardner, Bloomfield ; Chas, Holzhauer, 
Newark; R. W. Vandervoort, Newark; F. L. Plend, Newark; W. M. Townley, 
Newark; W. R. Laird, Jersey City; Jas. R. Merccin, Jersey City; G. W. Phil- 
lips, Jersey City; James S. Stratton, Bordentown ; Randal Rickey, Trenton; 
Franklin Dare, Bridgeton. 

The following officers were unanimously elected for the ensuing year : President, 
Charles B. Smith, Newark; First Vice President, George W. C. Phillips, Jersey 
•City; Second Vice President, E. H.Lee, Camden; Treasurer, Wm. Rust; Re- 
cording Secretary, A. P. Brown, Camden ; Corresponding Secretary, R. W. Van- 
dervoort, Newark; Standing Committee — First Vice President, ex-ofRcio Chair- 
man ; R. J. Shaw, Plainfield ; Wm. R. Laird, Jersey City ; Charles Holzhauer, 
Newark; A. S. White, Mt. Holly; R. Rickey, Trenton. 

We have the pleasure of knowing most of the gentlemen nominated for the 
.Board of Examiners, and congratulate the Association for the very judicious selection. 

Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. — At the Pharmaceutical Meeting held 
March 7, President J. Williams in the chair, Dr. Paul gave a description of the 
the California borax lakes (see "Amer. Jour. Phar.," 1866, p. 235), from which at 
the present time large quantities of borax are obtained, and Mr. Robottom spoke 
of the utility of this salt in the laundry and for the preservation of animal and 
vegetable substances. The President alluded to the value of borax in the arts as a 
flux, provided it could be obtained in sufficient quantity and at a low price. 

A paper was read, containing notes on the action of chlorine upon a beam of light 
and on the preparation of liquid chlorine, by Dr. A. Senier and A. J. G. Lowe. 
The authors failed to obtain an absorption spectrum from chlorine, thus confirming 
results previously obtained. Liquid chlorine was prepared from the crystallized 
hydrate, Cl5H 2 0, by draining off the liquid portion, enclosing the crystals in a 
combustion tube, which is sealed and afterwards heated to from 100 to 150 F., 
when the chlorine will appear below the chlorine water as a dense deep yellow, oily 
looking liquid. 

At the meeting of April 4, Mr. Holmes called attention to a specimen of gum 
arab'iCy which formed with water a mucilage that was gelatinous when concentrated, 
and glairy, like white of egg, when diluted. [The same gum has been met with in 
the United States. — Editor.] Mr. Greenish suggested that it be examined for cell 
tissue and starch granules, which are observed in tragacanth, 

Glass wool was also shown, and its adaptability for filtering corrosive liquids was 
favorably commented on. A specimen of pure iodide of potassium was also pre- 
sented, rather as a chemical curiosity; also, some so-called biphosphate of sodium, 
which is more permanent than the ordinary phosphate and may serve a useful 
purpose in medicine, inasmuch as it does not precipitate calcium phosphate from 
solutions of calcium chloride unless neutralized. 

324 Pharmaceutical Colleges and Associations, {^jSSi^!^ 

Mr. Hancock exhibited a machine for compounding powders, consisting of a. 
slightly conical cylinder, into which a sieve fits 5 a brush fitted to a spindle mixes 
the ingredients together, at the same time driving them through the sieve. 

Mr. Barnard S. Proctor, in a paper on medicine measures, advocated to abandon 
the various spoons for giving medicines, and to divide liquids by the fluid drachm 
and half ounce, cheap measures to be furnished with each medicine. As might have 
been expected, the proposition elicited much diversity of opinion, but all agreed 
that it was a dangerous practice on the part of physicians to order powerful and even 
poisonous medicines in a concentrated form. Mr. Holmes very properly censured 
pharmacists for the introduction of such preparations, but Mr. Carteighe excused 
this, because in these railway times everything was wanted in the most portable 
form ; as to the size of the dose, the primary responsibility rested on the prescriber. 

Mr. Greenish made some remarks on glycerite of tragacanth, pronouncing it to be 
one of the best excipients that could be kept at the dispensing counter, and specially 
useful for quinia, valerianate of zinc and sulphate of iron and aloes ; he prepares it 
by rubbing together 1 part by weight of tragacanth and 8 parts by measure of 
glycerin [which is one to 10 parts by weight. — Editor.] and allowing it to stand for 
a day or two to gelatinize. Pills made up with this glycerite did not become at all 

Pharmaceutical Society of Paris.— Prof Wurtz reported at the February meet- 
ing that he had obtained a considerable quantity of strychnia from the so-called 
hoang nau bark. 

Messrs. P. Cazeneuve and O. Caillol described an apparatus for exhausting vege- 
table poivders with volatile liquids, called digesto- still for continued displacement 
(digesto destillateur d deplacement continu). Its modification from the apparatus 
usually employed for the purpose will be apparent from the following description; 
It consists of a glass flask, surmounted by a percolator, in the centre of which a 
glass tube is inserted, being fastened at the lower end by means of a notched coik 
and terminating above in the tubular end of a curved adapter; this adapter points 
obliquely upwards, its mouth being connected with a reversed Liebig's condenser,, 
and this with two WoulPs bottles in such a manner that the glass tube connecting 
the condenser with the first bottle reaches to the bottom of the latter, so as to act 
as a syphon for the liquid which may be condensed or forced into the bottle. The 
two bottles may be kept in cold water or ice, the last one terminating with an 
Q safety tube containing some mercury. 

In using the apparatus, some cotton is placed upon the notched cork in the perco- 
lator and upon it is packed the powder, suitably moistened with the menstruum j 
a sufficient quantity of the latter is put into the flask, and after all the connections 
have been made the flask is placed in a water bath. The vapors of the boiling 
menstruum ascend and pass through the glass tube (in the percolator) and the 
adapter into the condenser, from whence the liquid flows back again through the 
adapter upon the material contained in the percolator. If alcohol is used, it will 
rarely pass into the Woulf's bottle ; but liquids like ether and carbon bisulphide 
will oscillate in the condenser, being forced upward by the ascending vapors during 

Am jine^i877t rm '} Pharmaceutical Colleges and Associations. 325 

the operation into the Woulf s bottle, from which it will be projected again upon 
and forced through the powder as soon as the heat for the receiving flask, is with- 
drawn and thus a vacuum created in the apparatus In such a case the mercury 
may be partly projected into the apparatus and will then remain in the last bottle. 

Syrup of Chloral. — P. Carles called attention to the great difference in the strength 
-of this syrup, as made by the formulas of different authors, which vary in the 
amount of chloral directed between i and 12 per cent. Follet's syrup appears to 
be used in France more generally than any other, and since the dose is convenient 
and the odor and taste of chloral well disguised by the peppermint employed, the 
author recommends a somewhat modified formula, whereby a syrup even more 
pleasant in odor is obtained, as follows: Powder 4 grams of pure chloral hydrate 
in a porcelain mortar, dissolve it in 2 grams of boiling water, and add, drop by 
drop, of a concentrated solution of sodium carbonate until the solution has a neutral 
reaction. Then agitate it well with one drop of English oil of peppermint, mix it 
rapidly with 96 grams of simple syrup, filter if necessary, and dissolve in it one 
drop of chloroform. Each tablespoonful of the syrup contains one gram (15^ 
grains), and each teaspoonful 0*25 gram (4 grains) of chloral hydrate. 

Mr. Husson made a communication concerning the inocuousness of fuchsin and 
a test for the detection of foreign coloring matter in <uvine, for which purpose he 
proposes the successive addition of alum and sugar of lead, the resulting lead 
sulphate precipitating only the natural coloring principle of wine, a statement which 
was pronounced incorrect by Mr. Videau. 

A communication by Plauchud, concerning the origin of natural sulphur ^waters 
gave rise to considerable discussion, some maintaining that the conversion of 
sulphates into sulphides is effected by organic matters indiscriminately, while others 
believed it due to living organized beings. 

Mr. Petit reported the results of the researches on conia i having found its density 
to be o 846 and its boiling point at 170 C; the hydrobromate and hydrochlorate of 
■conia were found to be anhydrous salts. 

Apothecaries' Society of Berlin. — At the meeting held February 20, Dr. Schacht 
presiding, Mr. Kobligk communicated the interesting observation that syrupus 
.althtete, mixed with distilled water in proportions not exceeding four times the 
weight of the former, would gelatinize after some time. From his experiments, 
made with evaporating dishes and beakers of hard glass, by heating them under 
-varied circumstances and cooling them suddenly, he recommends the use of such 

Dr. Schacht made some remarks on the state of hydration of quinia sulphate. 
When recently prepared, Jobst and Hesse had found this salt to contain 15 32 per 
-cent, or 7^ molecules of water of crystallization 5 this statement had recently been 
verified by Cownley (" Phar. Jour, and Trans.," Sept. 2, 1876), the latter also 
finding that on exposure to ioo° C. the entire amount of water would be expelled 
("Amer. Jour. Phar.," 1877, p. 71). The experiments of Dr. Schacht do not appear 
to coincide with this statement ; but when heated to 120 C. the amount of water 
•expelled from the commercial salt varied in different samples between 11 and 14*73 



{Am. Jour. Phanru 
June, 1877. 

per cent., variations amounting to fully one-half per cent, being obtained from,' 
different layers contained in the same tin can. The apothecary, it seems, in pur- 
chasing quinia sulphate, always obtains it partially dehydrated by even short exposure- 
to air, and Hager estimates the further loss while in the hands of the pharmacist, 
even if kept in well-stoppered bottles, at about 2 per cent., caused by occasionally 
opening the bottle. 

At the meeting of March 20, Mr. Herbricht reported on mercury peptonate, which 
is now used by Prof. Bamberger in place of the albuminate formerly employed by 
him ("Amer. Jour. Piiar.," 1876, p. 317), and which was found not to have the 
effects expected from it, probably because albuminates as such do not enter the 
circulation until after their conversion to pepton by the pancreas; animal and vege- 
table albumen is thus converted on being digested with pancreatic juice. Pepton 
is now largely manufactured by Darby & Gosden, London, and by Dr. H. Sanders,. 
Amsterdam. Prof. Bamberger has communicated the following formula for pre- 
paring the solution : I gram of dry pepton is dissolved in 50 cc. of distilled water ;. 
to this is added 20 cc. of solution of corrosive sublimate, containing exactly 1 gram 
of this salt, and in order to dissolve the precipitate, 15 cc. of solution of sodium 
chloride, containing 18 to 20 per cent, of this salt; the solution is filtered after a 
few days. In the absence of dry pepton, Mr. Herbricht recommends to completely 
precipitate an aqueous solution of 1 gram of corrosive sublimate with solution of" 
meat-pepton, to heat the flocculent mass with a little alcohol, wash it well and. 
dissolve it in 2-6 grams of sodium chloride and sufficient water to make the solution* 
measure 100 cubic centimeters. 

Mr. von Brockhusen stated that abies syluate of sodium, natrum sylvinicum abie- 
tinatum, which is prescribed to some extent, had been met with in the form of a 
yellowish brown non-pulverizable amoiphous mass, which has an agreeable odor and 
dissolves in a small quantity of water, the solution becoming turbid with more 
water; it contains about 10 per cent, of soda and appears to be prepared from 
Strassburg turpentine (obtained from Abies pectinata). When prepared from the 
resin of common turpentine, it had the same properties except that the solution was 
not quite as clear and the odor less agreeable. 


State Pharmaceutical Societies.— In the list given on page 268 of our last 
number, we regret having inadvertantly omitted to mention the Mississippi State 
Pharmaceutical Association, which has been in existence for several years and was 
represented by delegations at three or four meetings of the American Pharmaceu- 
tical Association. The number of organized State Pharmaceutical Societies is 
thereby increased to thirteen, and from information recently received, it is very 
likely that another association will soon be added to this number. We are pleased 
to learn that there are preparations in progress having in view the organization of 
such a society in the State of Iowa, and we trust that others may soon follow, sa> 

Am. Jeur. Pharm. ) 
June, 1877. J 



that in a short time there may be scarcely a State in which the pharmacists and 
druggists have not effected an organization for their mutual intercourse and 

Expensive Medicines in Prescriptions are often a source of trouble to the phar- 
macist, inasmuch as customers are apt to complain if the price of a m uicine 
exceeds what they consider a reasonable sum. The thoughtful physician will 
usually prepare the attendants of his patients for such a contingency; but sudden 
fluctuations in the commercial value of some articles may take place which the 
physician may not become acquainted with until he learns of supposed excessive 
charges on the part of pharmacists. In Germany and some other countries the 
prices of the various medicines are authoritatively fixed beforehand for one year, 
and the pharmacist is not permitted to charge more than regulation prices. Serious 
inconveniences must result, when from causes entirely beyond his control, advances 
are occasioned which may even go beyond the price he is entitled to charge. In 
this country, such matters regulate themselves, as is the case with all commodities; 
the seller naturally charges a fair advance on the cost price, and the consumer bears 
the burden of a rise as he derives the benefit from a decline in the commercial value 
of the article. At the present time the prices of quinia, morphia and some other 
drugs are seriously affected by the war in western Asia and southeastern Europe, 
and this would seem a good occasion to direct the attention of physicians to the 
cheaper alkaloids of cinchona, which have been again recommended recently by 
men like J. Eliot Howard, Dr. Weddell and others. 

With these remarks we desire to call the attention of physicians and pharmacists 

to the following communication : 

Editor American jfonmal 0/ Pharmacy : I presume there is not a pharmacist in the city whose 
experience has not been similar to mine in this respect, viz.: The surprise and dissatisfaction manifested 
by customers when the price of a prescription containing a large quantity (say 5i or 5ii) of quinia, mor- 
phia, iodoform or other expensive article is told them. I have thought for some time of mentioning it to 
the profession, and asking, through the "Journal," the co-operation of our medical brethren in this wise 
to overcome the trouble. 

I would snggest that whenever physicians find it necessary to prescribe any of the expensive alkaloids 
or other expensive medicines in any quantity to make it an object that they would say to the patient 
something like this: " Now this medicine will be quite expensive, but it is the only thing that will suit 
your case, and I would like you to get it." Then, when the price is told them, they are not surprised, 
and are prepared to pay a reasonable price ; but on the contrary, when they expect to pay not more than 
30 or 40 cents for a prescription, and you have to charge 75 cents, $1.00 or more, they are astonished, 
think the pharmacist is exorbitant in his charges and taking advantage of them, and go away dissatis- 
fied, (in fact I have many times had persons refuse to have prescriptions compounded when they have 
asked the price beforehand), and they and the physician hive both been disappointed because the medi- 
cine was not taken, whereas, if they had been prepared (by a word from the physician) to pay a fair price 
everything would have been satisfactory to all parties. The way I look at it in carrying out this arrange- 
ment, it is a mutual benefit to all pirties. The physician, because he will know whether the party will 
get and take the medicine -the patient, because he will not think he is being imposed upon, and will 
know before he leaves home whether he can get it or not — and the pharmacist be able to get a fair price 
for his goods without lying under the suspicion of doing injustice by overcharging his customers. 

And now as quinia and morphia have advanced to such a high figure, and money so scarce with a 
great many, some arrangement of this kind would seem more imperative than ever before. 

I respectfully submit the above to the attention of the professions, and hope they will give it a careful 
consideration. JAMES KEMBLE. 

Philadelphia, May rfth t 1877. 


Am. Jour Pharm. 
June, 1877. 

Nostrums in the Temple of Pharmacy, is the heading of an editorial which 
appeared in the April number of the " Pacific Medical and Surgical Journal," and 
in which we are taken to account in the following manner: 

The "American Journal of Pharmacy" is, we believe, the oldest pharmaceutical journal in America, 
and it is published by authority of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, the oldest pharmacal college. 
Such institutions are regarded as exemplars in ethics and models in everything that concerns the 
interests and principles of pharmacy, both in form and substance. Hence, we were rather surprised to 
find an advertisement in the March number of the journal aforesaid containing these items : 

"Fluid Extract Grindelia Robusta. From California. A specific in Asthma 

" Fluid Extract Xanthium Spinosum. From Russia. A cure for Hydrophobia. 

" Fluid Extract Bearsfoot. A specific for enlarged spleen. 

" Dr Warburg's Tincture. A celebrated remedy for malarial fevers," etc. 

It is true these are not all nostrums, properly speaking, the last alone coming under that head. But 
' ' specifics " are not much better than nostrums, especially when they pretend to cure such diseases as 
hydrophobia. It is true, also, that advertisements of a similar character are published in nearly all the 
medical and pharmacal journals in America, and quite as much so in Great Britain and elsewhere. But 
is it not time that pharmacists desist from making such publications? Is it not time that the various 
pharmaceutical societies, now well organized as they are and possessing great power, should control 
their members in such matters ? And, above all, is it not time that the leading journal in America should 
set a spotless example in this respect, and refuse any longer to sanction and encourage the practice? The 
advertisement to which we refer occupies the very first page in the advertisement department, and it is 
rendered the more noteworthy because the conductors of the journal publish a standing notice that "a 
proper discrimination will be observed in relation to the character of advertisements." 

Ever since its commencement the "American Journal of Pharmacy " has made 
"a proper discrimination" in the advertisements* admitted, and not only refused 
many that were offered, but in all cases promptly stopped them as soon as the fraud- 
ulent character of the advertised articles became known. A nostrum, properly 
speaking, has never been advertised by this journal, and we are surprised that our 
cotemporary objects to an advertisement of Warburg's Tincture after, for a year 
or more, the medical journals of this country and Great Britain have been extolling 
this very same preparation as a cure for malarial fevers, some having also published 
a formula by which, as we believe, the tincture is not made; and medical practi- 
tioners, who had not the slightest knowledge of its composition, compelled pharm- 
acists to procure it for their use ; what is known about its composition we have stated 
in our last number (see page 270). 

But we are pleased that the strictures by our cotemporary, in regard to the other 
preparations, are not based upon their character as nostrums, but rather because they 
are stated to be a " specific " or a " cure." Personally, we do not believe in specifics 
and sure cures, yet it will not be denied that some, if not all, the drugs mentioned 
have been recommended by certain physicians as unfailing cures or prophylactics, and 
we may add that one of the articles objected to is advertised in the " Pacific Jour- 
nal" as the well known California remedy Sox poison oak and asthma. We grant 
that the term "remedy" is less comprehensive than "specific," but that it implies 
curative powers will, we think, be admitted; and if so, we would point to certain 
pills which our cotemporary advertises, in large letters, as being " valuable as a 
remedy in consumption " In the same number of the "Pacific Med and Surg. 
Jour." in which the above-quoted editorial appeared, we find also advertisements stating 
that a certain brand of codliver oil is the best for foreign or domestic use, and the cod- 
liver oil of another maker to be the best and most reliable codliver oil in the world. 
A certain soap is advertised as being invaluable for chapped hands, etc., and another 

Am. Jour Pharm. \ 
June, I877. J 


kind which <voill cure chapped hands, and is unequaled as an earth dressing; and a 
tooth-powder, made with the latter soap, is stated to surpass anything of the kind ever 
offered to the public. 

Our cotemporary has done good service in battling against the nostrum evil, yet 
in this case he has evidently seen the mote in his brother's eye without noticing the 
beam in his own. 

Bullrich's Salt. — A correspondent made inquiry about the composition of Bull- 
rich's Salt, and, on confessing our ignorance, referred us to the " Text-Book of 
Practical Medicine," by Professor Dr. Felix von Niemeyer, vol II, page 504, where 
the following passage occurs : 

"It cannot be denied that in recent times the regular therapeutic employment of 
the so called Bullrich's salt, a mixture of bicarbonate and sulphuret of soda, rivals the 
world-renowned success of these springs (Kissengen, Karlsbad, Wiesbaden, Hom- 
burg and Vichy) — a fact which is at least opposed to the asserted latent peculiarities 
and advantages of the natural solutions of salt." 

A high laudation, indeed, from such an authority, who, however, gives no infor- 
mation as to how that salt came to its peculiar name. Not finding it mentioned in 
any of the works at our command, we applied to a friend who for several years had 
been a pharmaceutical assistant in Berlin, and learned from him that a merchant of 
Berlin, by the name of Bullrich, had sold large quantities of a salt, for which, when 
called for, the apothecaries dispensed bicarbonate of sodium. It is strange that that 
excellent compendium, Wittstein's " Geheimmittellehre," has taken no notice of it, 
but stranger still that a nostrum should be deemed worthy of regular therapeutic 
employment, and be lauded in a widely known medical work as rivaling the ivorld- 
renonvned success of the springs mentioned above. 

Resolutions of the Philadelphia County Medical Society, in reference to Dr. 
Squibb's proposition to modify the manner of revising the U.S. Pharmacopoeia. — 
At a large meeting of the Society, after a free interchange of sentiment between 
the members, the following resolutions were adopted as offered by Dr. Nebinger : 

Resolved, That in the opinion of the Philadelphia County Medical Society, the propositions of Dr. 
Squibb to modify the period of revision of the United States Pharmacopoeia and other proposed reforms, 
are deserving of careful consideration by the Medical and Pharmaceutical professions. 

Resolved. That in the judgment of this Society, such reforms and modifications of ancient plans can 
be more safely entrusted to the National Convention of the Pharmacopceia and its committee of revision, 
than to any new organization 

Resolved, That the action of this Society be officially transmitted to Dr. John C. Riley, President of 
the Pharmacopoeial Convent'on at Washington, to Dr. Bowditch, President of the American Medical 
Association at Chicago, and to Dr. Squibb of Brooklyn. 

Resolved, That these resolutions be also published in the Druggists' Circular, Chicago Pharma- 
cist, Medical News, Philadelphia Medical Tunes, Medical and Surgical Reporter, The American 
yournal of Pharmacy, New York Medical Record, and New Remedies, as soon as possible. 

Dr. Albert H. Smith presented the following resolutions which were unanimously 
adopted : 

Resolved, That this So .iety does not recognize the legal or moral right of the American Medical 
Association to assume the work of issuing a Pharmacopceia as proposed, nor its fitness for the work, if 
such right existed. 



J Am. Jour. Pharm, 
\ June, 1877. 

Resolved, That its delegates to the American Medical Association be instructed to use every proper 
means, by their votes and influence, to prevent the consummation of the plan proposed by Dr. Squibb. 

The Society has acted wisely in directing the appointment of a committee with 

the view of subjecting the Pharmacopoeia to a preliminary revision and facilitating 

the labor in this direction of the Pennsylvania State Medical Society. 

The Revision of the Pharmacopoeia is the important subject engaging the atten- 
tion of the medical and pharmaceutical professions of the United States, and which 
has become so prominent at the present time through the proposition of Dr. Squibb 
to place that work entirely under the control of the American Medical Association. 
We do not purpose to enter into the merits of the claim for such control or owner- 
ship, which have been ably reviewed by Mr. A. B. Taylor; but it may not be amiss 
to sketch in a few words a plan by which a " Pharmacopoeia " could be secured which 
would represent the actual wants of the medical profession and the pharmaceutical 
knowledge of the United States. To accomplish this object, it is, in our opinion,, 
absolutely necessary to secure the active co-operation of as many medical and 
pharmaceutical societies as possible, so as to have all sections of the country fairly 
represented. This active co-operation should express itself in the preliminary 
revision of the " Pharmacopoeia " by each society, which should be so full and complete 
that the revised work would represent a " Pharmacopoeia " for the locality in which 
the society is located. All the local "Pharmacopoeias" should then be referred to 
an Editing Committee, whose duty it should be to compile them into one. This 
committee may be small, not exceeding five in number, who may be selected from 
any locality, insuring their frequent meeting whenever necessary. During the pro- 
gress of the revision, the clerical labors would necessarily be large and require the 
engagement of a secretary, whose duty it would be to prepare the material of all 
local " Pharmacopoeias " in such a manner as would enable the committee to criti- 
cally examine all the propositions and act intelligently upon them. The action of 
the committee should then, as soon as possible, be communicated to each society 
having prepared a local " Pharmacopoeia, " to be again critically examined, and the 
results of these examinations should be transmitted to the committee for their final 
action, to be based upon the suggestions and criticisms as reported to them from 
the various societies. 

By this plan the active co operation of each medical and pharmaceutical society 
in every part of the country could be secured, and the work, before its final adop- 
tion, would be submitted to the judgment of a large number of experts, so that 
the processes could scarcely fail to be as perfect as the scientific knowledge of the 
country could make them. 

There is still a large number of those interested in the perfection of the " Phar- 
macopoeia,'" who, under the rules adopted by the Pharmacopceial Convention of 
1870, are not entitled to representation. We refer to the various State Pharmaceu- 
tical Societies, of which we now have thirteen, and hope to have many more by 
1880. But in our opinion, any labor performed by them would be gladly accepted 
by the National Convention, and their delegates would, we believe, be received as 
they should be. 

It will be perceived that this plan is based upon the assumption that those who 

Am. Jour. Pharm. 
June, 1877. 


33 1 

use the " Pharmacopoeia," physicians as well as pharmacists, should have a weighty 
and controling influence in its revision. The plan suggested by Mr. Taylor (see 
page 294) leaves the final revision to a larger Committee appointed for that purpose, 
and we think that it could likewise be made to work satisfactorily. We do not be- 
lieve that the revision could be accomplished by occasional meetings, if the committee 
was to be appointed so as to secure a fair representation of all sections of our coun- 
try ; the members would either have to be placed so as to be able to leave their 
homes for the place of meeting of the committee, and there to devote all their 
time to the revision of the "Pharmacopoeia;" or what appears to us to be the more 
practicable course, the labor of the Executive Committee residing at and near the 
place of meeting, should be at once communicated to every member of the Com- 
mittee of Revision for their critical examination This would be, substantially^ 
equivalent to the course of the preceding plan, inasmuch as the members of the 
Committee would doubtless be selected from the delegates of those societies who 
have actually gone to the trouble of the preliminary revision of the " Pharmaco- 
poeia," and could, whenever desirable, consult the society in whose name they act. 

Both plans avoid that centralization of power which is likely to produce unsatis- 
factory results, such as in our opinion might, on close analysis, be expected if Dr. 
Squibb's plan was followed. This does not contemplate the active co operation or 
physicians and pharmacists 5 or if it seeks it, will most likely not obtain it, because 
the voice of these bodies or their representatives will have no direct bearing upon 
the construction of the " Pharmacopoeia." It is indeed a delegation of almost 
absolute power to a few, and a plan admirably adapted to secure a local " Pharma- 
copoeia " for the whole country, or as it has been, privately at least, stated, a one 
man's " Pharmacopoeia," secured through the preponderating influence of one indi- 

We do not claim originality for either of these plans. They are simply modifi- 
cations, adapted to our country, of the plan followed in the creation of the "Swiss 
Pharmacopoeia," or at the present time, in the elaboration of an appendix to the 
French Codex, containing the formulas and processes for new medicaments. In 
both cases the formulas have been published as fast as selected, so as to secure the 
critical examination of the largest possible number before their final adoption. 

We believe that all who feel interested in a good and complete " Pharmacopoeia," 
should feel themselves indebted to Dr. Squibb for the candor with which he has 
brought up this important subject; although we believe many of his reasonings 
faulty, and his conclusions objectionable, yet we have to thank him for having 
aroused the attention of the medical and pharmaceutical professions to the great 
importance of the work entrusted to their care. 

The following communication, referring to the same subject, was received after 
the above was in type j it comes from a medical gentleman, at present residing in 
New Hampshire. 

Tfi the Editor of the American Journal of Pharmacy : 

Sir — Referring to the able review of this subject by Mr. Alfred B. Taylor, in your May issue, T 
respectfully submit the following as covering the objectionable features in the plans already suggested : 

"That the National Convention for the revision of the U. S Pharmacopoeia shall be composed of 
one delegate from each State medical society represented in the American Medical Association, one 

Editorial. — Reviews, etc. 

A.m. Jour. Pharm. 
June, 1877. 

•delegate from each incorporated Medical College, incorporated College of Physicians and Surgeons, and 
incorporated College of Pharmacy throughout the United States, with one delegate from the medical 
department of the Army and one from the medical department of the Navy of the United States. That 
the delegate from each State medical society represented in the American Medical Association shall be 
nominated and elected by the said Association, the delegates from the said several colleges shall be 
nominated and elected by the said colleges, and the delegates from the two branches of the national 
service shall be nominated by their respective Surgeon-Generals, and be ordered by the Honorable Secre- 
taries of the Army and Navy of the United States. 

" That the said delegates shall be nominated and elected with special reference to their experience 
and knowledge of therapeutics and physiology, medical chemistry, medical botany and practical phar- 
macy, so that all classes of medical and pharmacal experts may be fairly represented in the National 
Convention, to the end that the Pharmacopoeia of the United States may be thoroughly revised by a 
commission embodying the greatest practical knowledge and professional skill." 

This plan, or a similar one, v/ould do but little violence to the existing order of things ; it would not 
interfere with any " Pharmaceutical Council " which any association may form, with a view to aiding 
pharmacopceial revision, and it would give us a truly representative convention, in which the American 
Medical Association would be recognized as well as all Pharmaceutical and other Colleges, not connected 
with that Association. There can be little doubt as to the advantage to be gained by a call emanating 
from the National Government— the presence of two government officials in the " Convention " would be 
a move in that direction ; and as the formation of State Boards of Health is rapidly extending, the day 
may not be far distant when we shall have a " Minister o'f Health " to call our " NationakConvention," 
and to represent the great medical and sanitary interests of the country in the Cabinet of the United 
States. C. 

Principles of Theoretical Chemistry, with special reference to the constitution of 
Chemical Compounds. By Ira Remsen, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry 
in the John Hopkins University. Philadelphia: Henry C. Lea, 1877. nmo, 
pp. 232. 

As the title indicates, this volume is devoted to the principles upon which the 
theoretical structure of modern chemistry is based, and as such it is a very valuable 
addition to our literature, inasmuch as it discusses, in a clear and comprehensive 
manner, the various laws governing chemical combination and decomposition, and 
the various theories which have been advanced for explaining observed facts. Part 
first, being devoted to the general discussion of atoms and molecules, forms the 
ground-work for the second part, which treats of the constitution or structure of 
chemical compounds. Considering the multitude of compounds, and particularly 
the more complex ones of carbon, the so-called organic compounds, it is without 
question of considerable importance to the investigator to have a knowledge of the 
grouping together of the various elements forming a compound, since the nature of 
such groups, and their relation to each other, determine the chemical behavior of 
the body. Such considerations have gradually led to the adoption of the so-called 
structural formulas, which are explained in the second part, and in regard to which 
the author says : 

As for the value of the structural formulas, which are discussed at some length in the second part of 
the book, it need only be said that, if it be borne in mind what they are intended to represent, they are' 
not quite so absurd as some chemists are just now trying to make us believe they are. These formulas 
certainly represent known facts in regard to the constitution of chemical compounds. They do not 
represent these compounds as a photograph, for example, represents a building; but rather somewhat in 
the same way that, in Physics, lines represent forces in their magnitude and direction. Take the formulas 

Am. Jour. Pharm ) 
June, 1S77. / 

Reviews, etc. 


for what they are, and they have considerable value. Try to find in them the architectural plans of the 
chemical molecules, and they appear absurd. But it is very unjust to find fault with a thing for not doing 
what it never pretended to do, and what its originators have distinctly stated it could not do. 

In our opinion, the work will prove to be a valuable aid to the chemical student 
who would familiarize himself with the theories of the science that have led to many- 
important discoveries. 

Die rationellen Formeln der Chemie, auf Grundlage der mechanischen Warmetheorie 
ent^wickelt, von Baron N Bellingshausen. Zweiter Theil. Organische Verbin- 
dungen. Heidelberg: Carl Winter's Universitats-Buchhandlung, 1877. 8v°? 
pp. 156. 

The rational chemical formulas as evolved upon the base of the mechanical theory 
of caloric. Part II. Organic compounds. 

While the preceding work bases its considerations upon the atomic theory, the 
one now before us is diametrically opposed to it. The atomic theory finds, among 
others, its main proofs in the alteration of the volumes of bodies and in the chem- 
ical laws of constant and multiple proportions; it is the author's aim to prove that 
the volume of the bodies depends upon the size, form and number of their vibra- 
tion atoms, and that the combining proportions of bodies, or their chemical equiva- 
lents, are determined, without atomic composition, as the carriers of equivalent 
motions. The culminating point of the atomic theory is found in the modern 
theory of chemical structure, which finds its chief support in the explanation of 
the composition of the organic compounds (of carbon). This theory cannot be 
disproven by facts, because it does not directly depend upon such, but is altogether 
a chain of hypotheses: that bodies are composed of atoms and molecules; that 
the atoms attract each other; that they combine to molecules; that the polyvalent 
atoms neutralize each other ; that unsaturated compounds may take the place of 
simple radicals. The proof, therefore, of explaining the rational formulas without 
presupposing the existence of molecules appears to the author to be the best weapon 
against the atomic doctrine. 

The author has studied his subject very thoroughly. In 1875 ( see "Am. Jour* 
Phar.," p. 479) we have noticed one of his works, a predecessor of the present one. 
Since then he has published another one, in which the inorganic combinations are 
explained by the mechanical theory, and the present one extends these considerations 
to the complex carbon compounds. When it is remembered that perhaps the great 
majority of chemists are in reality not convinced of the absolute correctness of the 
atomic doctrine, but rather have adopted its views, because most of the chemical 
facts observed may be explained thereby in an apparently natural and simple manner, 
it will be conceded that a work like the one before us is likely to have considerable 
bearing upon the evolution of chemical principles in the future. 

Gmelin-Kraufs Handbuch der Che-nie. Anorganische Cbemie. Heidelberg: Carl 
Winter's Universitats Buchhandlung. 

There are now before us the first and second numbers of the second division of 
the second volume of Gmelin-Kraut's Chemistry, containing the metals titanium, 
tantalum, niobium and a considerable portion of tungsten. The revision of this 


Reviews, etc. 

( Am. Jour. Pharm. 
1 June, 1877. 

portion of the work is in the hands of Dr. S. M. Jorgensen, of Copenhagen, who 
has already, in an admirable manner, finished the third volume, comprising the 
metals of the iron, mercury and platinum groups ; the subjects of the present 
numbers are equally complete. 

Medicinal Plants, being Descriptions, with Original Figures, of the Principal Plants 
employed in Medicine, and an Account of their Properties and Uses. By Rob. 
Bentley, F L S., and Henry Trimen, M.B., F.L.S. Philadelphia: Lindsay & 
Blakiston. Parts 16, 17, 18. Price, per pan, $2.00. 

With the gradual progress of this interesting and important work, we have taken 
occaMon to refer to it from time to time, and are pleased that now, when nearly 
one-half of it has been published, the favorable impressions received from the first 
few numbers have been altogether justified by the later ones. The parts now before 
us contain colored plates and descriptions of the following plants: Acacia catechu, 
Ac. Senegal, Achillea millefolium, Acorus calamus, Aristolochia serpentaria, 
Daphne gnidium, D. laureola, Diospyros embryopteris (used in India like the per- 
simmon in this country), Eugenia caryophyllata, Ferula galbaniflua (not previously 
figured ; one of the plants yielding galbanum), Lactuca virosa, Oryza sativa, Piper 
angustifolium (Matico), P. longum, P. nigrum, Punica granatum, Quercus robur, 

infectoria, Rheum officinale (the rhubarb plant, figured with flowers and fruit; 
see "Amer. Jour. Phar.," 1876, p. 307), Santalum album, Soymida febrifuga (yield- 
ing the Rohun bark of India, a name by which also the nux vomica bark is known) 
and Toddalia aculeata (the parent plant of the Indian Lopez root). 

Thirteenth Annual Report of the Alumni Association, with the exercises of the fifty- 
sixth commencement of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. 1877. 8vo, 
pp. 48. 

We have already given, on page 198, an account of the proceedings at the annual 
meeting of the Alumni Association ; besides the addresses, reports and minutes 
there mentioned, this report contains also the introductory lecture and an abstract 
of the valedictory address to the course 1876-77. Copies of the report may be 
obtained from the Secretary of the Association, Mr. Wallace Procter, 500 South 
Ninth street, Philadelphia. 

Proceedings of the Connecticut Pharmaceutical Association, at the first annual meeting, 
held at the Allyn House, Hartford, Conn., Feb. 7, 1877. New Haven. 8vo, pp. 15. 

On page 139 of our March number will be found a brief account of the second 
(first annual) meeting of this State organization. Upon perusal of this modest 
pamphlet, we cannot but congratulate our friends upon the commendable spirit 
which appears to have pervaded the transactions, and is more particularly evinced 
in the excellent address of the president and in the subject matter of the queries 
proposed and accepted. The latter refer to the perfection and strengthening of 
the organization, to apprenticeship, to the preservation of prescriptions, the labeling 
of medicines, the coating of pills, the powdering of extracts, the desirability of 
legislation and the fostering of associations for the benefit of pharmacists. From 

Am. Jour. Pharm. ) 
June, 1877. / 

Reviews, etc. 


the interest shown it is presumed that the contemplated semi-annual meeting during 
the coming summer will be as successful as the anniversary meeting. 

The pamphlet contains a paper by Mr. R. H. Dirnock proposing to prepare for 
•dispensing a solution of phosphorus containing one-sixtieth of a grain, dissolved in 
1 fluid drachm of glycerin, kept by means of a water bath at a temperature of 
2i2°F. and in an atmosphere of carbonic acid. 

Annual Report of the Supervising Surgeon-General of the Marine Hospital Service of 
the United States, for the fiscal year 1875. John M. Woodworth, M.D., Wash- 
ington, 1876. 8vo, pp. 229. 

Supervising Surgeon-General Woodworth presents in his report valuable and 
interesting statistics concerning the operations of this important service, and adds 
in an appendix nine papers, written by surgeons of the Marine Hospital Service, 
upon topics which they had special facilities to observe and investigate, and several 
of which possess such general importance and interest to commercial men and 
travelers as to deserve becoming more widely known and to claim the attention 
of Congress. The report is accompanied by two maps and four diagrams, in 
illustration of the various subjects. 

Second Annual Report of the Inspector and Assay er of Liquors to the Commonwealth of 
Massachusetts. Boston, 1877. 8vo, pp. 39. 

The report of Professor Babcock gives the results of 412 samples of wines and 
distilled spirits sent for analysis, about one-third of which number was found to be 
either of very inferior or ordinary quality, or more or less adulterated. Nine sam- 
ples of ale and lager beer were analyzed and found to contain between 3*55 and 5 02 
per cent by weight of alcohol, and between 3*20 (ale) and 7*75 (lager beer) of malt 
extract, etc. The report enters into the discussion of the manufacture of the 
liquors and the adulterations, as previously noticed. 

Third Annual Report of the State Fish Commissioners of Minnesota, for the fiscal year 
ending December 31, 1876. St. Paul. 8vo, pp. 14. 

We are obliged to Mr. R. O. Sweeney, chairman of the Commission, for this 
official report. 

Tear-book of Pharmacy, comprising Abstracts of Papers relating to Pharmacy, 
Materia Medica and Chemistry, contributed to British and foreign journals, from 
July 1, 1875, to J une 3°) ^76, with the Transactions of the British Pharmaceu- 
tical Conference at the thirteenth annual meeting, held in Glasgow, September, 
1876. London: 1877. 8vo, pp. 640. 

The publication of this volume, we regret to say, has been delayed, owing to the 
illness of its editor. We have noticed the former issues of this valuable annual, 
and it remains for us merely to state that it presents the same attractive appearance 
as its predecessors, and that the arrangement is nearly the same as heretofore. The 
"Year-book" occupies 380 pages, and the "Transactions," including the papers 

33 6 

Reviews, etc. 

f Am. Jour Pharro. 
\ June, 1&77. 

read, about 170 pages. An account of the meeting will be found on page 473 of 
our last volume, and since then brief abstracts of several of the papers read have 
appeared in the "Journal." 

There are several matters to which we desire to allude in this connection. A 
very important one is the creation of a fund, from which grants have been made 
amounting during the past year to £75, with the view of aiding original investiga- 
tions. And it must be acknowledged that the money has been well spent. Though 
barely sufficient to cover the cost of the material, it has found its way into the hands 
of men who devoted their knowledge and time to the investigation of important 
subjects. At the next meeting of the American Pharmaceutical Association, the 
nucleus for a similar fund will be presented, and it is to be hoped that it may soon 
increase to a sufficient amount that those who desire to undertake investigations 
involving considerable outlay of money may at least be recompensed for this, since 
neither their labor nor the possible value of the results can be repaid. 

The second subject deserving commentation is the long list of faithful members,, 
far outnumbering those of the older Association on this continent. We have 
alluded to this on former occasions, but we recur to the subject again, and cannot 
but express our belief that with little effort on the part of each member the roll of 
membership might be considerably increased Even viewed merely as a matter of 
dollars and cents, the publications of the British and the American societies are 
worth by far more than the annual contributions. 

The third subject to which we feel constrained to allude is the commendable fact 
that while the annual income of the British Conference for the first eleven vears was 
merely sufficient for its annual expenditure, the two following years enabled the 
Conference to report a surplus of about £430, nearly the whole of which was 
invested in government securities. The American Pharmaceutical Association, we 
regret to say, cannot show such a sound financial record ; after twenty-five years of 
its existence, it does, as in the past, meet its liabilities 5 but it has not been able to 
lay by a reserve fund. One of the causes is to be found in the stipulation ot the 
old constitution, by which membeis who had paid ten annual dues became free 
from further contributions, but still enjoyed all the privileges of full membership 5 
the other cause we have alluded to before : the small number of members, as com- 
pared with the large number of intelligent pharmacists. 

We congratulate our brethren in Great Britain on their success, and we hope 
that, in this country, we may profit from their experience. 

Official Bulletin of the International Exhibition, Fairmount Park. Philadelphia : 
1877. Nu. 3. Educational Number. 

The permanent international exhibition was formally opened May 10th, and is 
located in the " Main Building," with which our readers who have visited the Cen- 
tennial Exposition last year are familiar. The " Bulletin " before us refers to the 
exhibits relating to educational matters, and contains also a map of the exhibition 
gn-unds and a general plan, showing the arrangement of the exhibition. We expect 
to notice, hereafter, such portions of the exhibition as may be of special interest to 
our readers. 



JULY, 1877. 


By Francis V. Greene, M.D., U.S.N. 

In determining the percentage of caffeina in guarana, Stenhouse 
("Pharm. Jour.," 1st ser., vol. xvi, p. 212, "Amer. Jour. Phar.," 1857, 
p. 68) employed the following process : The finely powdered substance 
was boiled for some time with distilled water, the insoluble portion re- 
moved by filtration, and a slight excess of basic acetate of lead added to 
the filtrate. The resulting brownish red precipitate was thoroughly 
washed with boiling water, and sulphuretted hydrogen gas passed through 
the filtered liquid. The sulphide of lead was filtered off", the filtrate 
evaporated to drynesss on a water bath, and the residue dissolved in a 
small quantity of boiling alcohol and filtered. On evaporating this 
liquid nearly to dryness, yellowish crystals were obtained, which, after 
being pressed between folds of bibulous paper, were dissolved in diluted 
alcohol. By the evaporation of this menstruum, the crystals of cafFeina 
were obtained perfectly free from color. 

In repeating this process for the purpose of estimating the quantity 
of cafFeina contained in a specimen of guarana procured from the Bra- 
zilian collection at the Centennial Exhibition, the difficulty of separa- 
ting the solution from the portion insoluble in boiling water, and the 
tediousness of the process of washing the mass precipitated by the 
acetate of lead solution led me to seek some other method by which 
these impediments might be avoided, and I therefore determined to 
attempt the separation by means of litharge, which substance has been 
highly recommended (" Amer. Jour. Pharm.," 1875, p. 135) by Prof- 
E. S. Wayne, for the extraction of cafFeina from tea and coffee. The 
result, confirmed by several trials of the process, proves that this com- 
pound of lead answers equally well for guarana, and that by its employ- 


33 ^ Extraction of Caffeina from Guar ana. { Am ji?y, r ;^ h 7 arm " 

ment the quantitative determination of the caffeina in this substance 
can be effected with the utmost facility. 

The details of the method are as follows : the powdered guarana is 
intimately mixed with three times its weight of finely divided litharge, 
and the mixture boiled in distilled water, the ebullition being continued 
until, on allowing the temperature to fall below the boiling point, the 
insoluble portion is found to subside rapidly, leaving the supernat- 
ant liquid clear, bright, and without color. The quantity of distilled 
water required will be found to be about a pint for every fifteen grams 
of the guarana used in the experiment, and, as the boiling has to be con- 
tinued for several hours before the desired and all-essential separation 
mentioned above takes place, water must be added from time to time to 
supply the place of that lost by evaporation. When cool, the clear 
liquid is decanted upon a filter, and when it has passed through, which 
it will be found to do with facility, the precipitate is to be transferred to 
the filter and washed with boiling water, the washing to be continued as 
long as yellowish precipitates are produced with either phosphomolybdic 
acid solution, auric or platinic chloride. A stream of sulphuretted 
hydrogen gas is now passed through the filtrate to remove the small 
quantity of Jead that has been dissolved, and the sulphide thus formed 
separated by filtration. The solution is evaporated on a water bath to 
expel the excess of sulphuretted hydrogen, filtered to remove a trace of 
sulphur, finally evaporated to the crystallizing point, and the caffeina,, 
which crystallizes out on cooling, removed from the mother liquor and 
pressed between folds of bibulous paper. After being thus treated the 
crystals will be found to be perfectly white. On diluting the mother 
liquor with distilled water, filtering and evaporating, a second crop of 
crystals are obtained, which are also perfectly white, after being pressed 
as above. The crystals are now dissolved in boiling diluted alcohol, 
filtered, and the solution set aside to crystallize by spontaneous evapo- 
ration. The resulting crystals of caffeina are perfectly pure and 

In order to test the accuracy of the process, fourteen grams of 
guarana in an impalpable powder were treated with the utmost care, as 
above described. The extracted caffeina, after drying at ioo° F. until 
the weight became constant, was found to weigh "joy grams, 5*05 
per cent., a remarkably close approximation to the results of Stenhouse > 

Am. Jour Pharm. 
July, 1877 

Hypophosphate of Berberina. 


who, from 25 grams of guarana, obtained 1*260 grams of caffeina 
= 5-04 per cent., and from 14 grams 5*1 percent. Average == 5.07. 

As this method of extracting caffeina is entirely devoid of all com- 
plicated steps, and requires but a short space of time for its completion, 
it may be used advantageously in estimating the percentage of caffeina 
in the fluid extract of guarana, which is prescribed to a certain extent 
at present, and may possibly be more extensively used in the future. 

In regard to the proper accentuation of the name of the substance 
prepared from the seeds of the Paullinia sorbilis, by the Indian tribes on 
the upper Amazon, I would state that throughout Brazil, and in all 
parts of South America, where the preparation is used, the word is uni- 
versally accented on the last syllable, guarana, and never pronounced 
guar&na, the popular method of accenting the term in this country. 
The placing of the accent on the last syllable in words ending in a is 
not at all unusual in the Guarany language ; for instance, as regards 
localities, Parana and Ceara, retain their Indian accentuation; and in 
the vegetable world, the Caladium esculentum is always spoken of as 
the Taja or Taya, the Franciscea uniflora as the Manaca, and the 
Gomphia parviflora, as the Batiputa. 


By J. U. Lloyd. 

Take of Sulphate of berberina, . . .1 part 

Distilled water, . . .24 parts 

Lead monoxide, . . ^ part 

Hypophosphorous acid, . . q. s. 

Dissolve the sulphate of berberina in the distilled water at the tem- 
perature of i8o°F. Add the lead monoxide, and digest at the above 
temperature until a filtered portion will not produce a precipitate with 
solution of acetate of lead (or a hot solution of chloride of barium) ; 
from 6 to 12 hours will accomplish this. Filter out the excess of lead 
and sulphate of lead formed, pass sulphuretted hydrogen through the 
solution to separate any traces of lead which may remain, and filter 
again. Evaporate the solution of berberina to the measure of 8 fluid- 
ounces, add solution of hypophosphorous acid until in slight excess, and 
allow the mixture to cool. Separate the magma of fine crystals with a 
filter paper or muslin strainer, and dry. 


Dialyzed Iron. 

I Am. Jeur. Phartn. 
1 July, 1877. 

Hypophosphite of berberina is a beautiful yellow salt, much more 
soluble than the muriate. 

By substituting other acids for the hypoposphorous almost any salt of 
berberina can be easily formed. When free from foreign substances, 
I have failed to find any salt of this alkaloid as soluble in cold water as 
the berberina itself, but the hypophosphite will dissolve readily to a 
considerable extent, and is the most desirable form I am acquainted 


By Andrew and H. C. Blair. 
This preparation has attracted the attention of many of the pharm- 
acists and medical profession of Europe for some time past, and the 
experience resulting from its use is so satisfactory, peculiar and won- 
derful, that it is probably destined soon to become one of our most 
valued therapeutic agents in a large class of diseases where the ordinary 
iron preparations are objectionable. " With this preparation," says an 
author, " we are able now to avoid all inconveniences which arise from 
the employment of ordinary ferruginous preparations." 

Our attention was called to it some months ago through corres- 
pondence with a customer residing abroad, who spoke so highly of it, 
and mentioned such peculiar and wonderful properties it possessed, that 
led us to inquire more particularly into it. Further correspondence 
stated that this party had taken it as a remedial agent for a protracted 
period without the least inconvenience or unpleasant effect, and while 
under treatment in this country for the same ailment, the ordinary iron 
preparations were prescribed, but could not be taken for any consider- 
able time without experiencing the common trouble so frequently com- 
plained of — headache, constipation, etc. Being interested in the mat- 
ter, we obtained from a prominent French chemist a formula by which 
he was in the habit of making it, which is in substance as follows : 

Take 10 parts liq. ferri per. chlor. (Br. Ph.), precipitate by aqua 
ammoniac and wash the precipitate thoroughly. Mix this with 12 parts 
of liq. ferri perchlor. (Br. Ph.), and place in a dialyzer. The dialyzer 
is placed in a suitable vessel with distilled water, the water under it 
renewed every 24 hours. The operation is continued until no trace of 
chlorine exists, at which time the preparation is found to be neutral. 
It usually takes from 12 to 15 days to complete the process. 

Am. Jour. Pharm. | 
July, 1877. } 

Dialyzed Iron. 


The resulting preparation is, or should be, of a deep dark-red color, 
and contains about 5 per cent, of the oxide of iron. As to the chemi- 
cal condition of the iron in solution, M. Bravais, of Paris (who claims 
to produce the only genuine), says, " It consists of liquid peroxide of 
iron, i. iron merely united with oxygen and water to the exclusion 
of all acids but it is, no doubt, in fact a neutral solution of an oxy- 
chloride of iron in a concentrated form, and the theory of its produc- 
tion is nothing new, and is very simple. The oxychloride (which is the 
substance retained in solution in the dialyzer) is a colloidal substance. 
The chloride (which is the principal substance rejected, or washed out 
as it were) is a crystalloidal substance. These two substances — crys- 
talloid and colloid — are separated by dialysis, the former from the lat- 
ter by diffusion through a septum, such as parchment paper. 

Other formulae more recently have been suggested, differing some- 
what from the above, and it has been the subject of no little discussion 
abroad as to the particular merits of the one or the other of these. By 
some it has been suggested to pursue the following formula : Take a 
given quantity of liq. ferri perchlor. (Br. Ph.), and precipitate by 
ammonia, wash well the precipitate, and mix with sufficient quantity of 
the same preparation of liq. ferri perchlor. to saturation, and dialyze. 
It is remarkable how large a proportion of this freshlv precipitated ses- 
quioxide of iron will be taken up or dissolved. For example, the pre- 
cipitate obtained from one pint of our officinal liquor ferri chlor., repre- 
senting 3 ounces and 6 drachms of dry oxide, is entirely taken up by 
about 5 fluidounces of the same liquor. In the magma this precipitate 
seems a very great quantity, so bulky is it ; and, as stated before, it is 
quite surprising to see it disappear into solution under the influence of 
so small a quantity of the liquor. 

By following the above method, we have found that it shortened the 
process considerably. It became thoroughly dialyzed in one week, 
while the other takes about twice that time. 

Still another method has been suggested, namely, to take a given 
quantity of the liquor ferri chlor., and add aqua ammonias almost enough 
to produce the precipitate of the sesquioxide. When the precipitating 
point is reached the whole solution is placed in the dialyzer. The 
chloride of ammonium is thus extracted from the solution, and the per- 
oxide of iron, or oxychloride, retained. 

If either of these processes is pursued carefully we have found the 

342 Note on Dialyzed Iron. { A,r jif y u , r, l8 P 7 h 7 arm ' 

same result to be reached. If the solution, after completion of the 
operation, should contain more than 5 per cent, of iron, it may be 
diluted with distilled water till it reaches that point. There are some 
dialyzed irons in market which we have examined, containing no more 
than from 3J to 4 per cent. When the preparation has become 
thoroughly dialyzed, it is tasteless and neutral, the operation should be 
discontinued, as by further dialysis the liquid is converted into a gela- 
tinous condition. 

We may say in closing, that the above formula furnishes an article 
precisely similar to the original Bravais' Dialyzed Iron, which we have 
imported and had ample opportunity for comparison. By manufactur- 
ing it in this country, it can be produced for about one-half the cost of 
the imported. 

The manner of taking the pure concentrated dialyzed iron is gener- 
ally in drops, ranging from 15 to 50 daily, in divided doses, on sugar 
or in sugar and water ; suitable vehicles can be used for administration 
without fear of decomposition. Being without taste and odor, com- 
patible with syrup and alcohol, and communicating no taste to any 
suitable vehicle, it is easy to construct formulae for elixir, syrup, etc., 
a glycerite we find to be an excellent preparation. 

These preparations, beside being more acceptable to the delicate pal- 
ate, are perhaps preferable on account of the dose being brought up to 
the more popular measure of tea- and tablespoonful, and avoiding the 
necessity of the patient mixing them with any other liquid before taking. 


By John M. Maisch. 
Dialyzed iron, which will doubtless become one of the most valuable 
ferruginous medicinal agents, has been recently introduced into the 
United States, under various names. Some claiming it to be a solution 
of oxide of iron in water, it was, and is still frequently called in Europe, 
ferrum oxy datum dialysatum ; but like the very similar preparation, ferrum 
oxy datum saccharatum, which has been made officinal in several European 
pharmacopoeias ("Am. Jour. Phar.," 1873, P* » J 874> P- 559)? it is 
nothing more nor less than a very basic oxychloride of iron. To pre- 
vent erroneous conceptions concerning its composition gaining a foot- 
hold, a brief review of the earlier literature on the subject will not 
be out of place. 

Am jour. Pharm. I 
July, 1877 J 

Note on Dialyzed Iron. 


The first paper on this subject deserving notice is one by John M. 
Ordway, entitled kC Examination of the soluble basic sesquisalts," 
which was published in the "Am. Journal of Science and Arts," 2d 
ser., xxvi, p. 197 (1858), and in which the following language is used : 
" Time is a very important element in the production of the highly 
basic compounds. One may easily be deceived as to when the hydrate 
ceases to be dissolved, and may set down as opaque that, which by 
longer digestion becomes quite transparent. Bv successive steps we 
get pretty easily as far as Fe 2 Cl c , 1 1 Fe 2 O s , and in the course of several 
weeks I have gone as high as Fe 2 Cl 6 ,23Fe 2 3 ," 

The next important paper is by Bechamp (1859), published in 
"Annales de Chimie et de Physique," 3d ser., Ivii, 296, which in the 
main corroborates the statements of Ordway, but gives the most basic 
compound obtained Fe 2 Cl 6 , 20Fe 2 O 3 . In both cases the solutions of 
the normal salt were digested with ferric hydrate. 

Th. Graham's celebrated essay on the diffusion of liquids (" Phil. 
' Trans.," 1 86 1 , 1 83) announces the following results : " If recently pre- 
cipitated ferric hydrate or carbonate of ammonium is added to an aqueous 
solution of ferric chloride, as long as the precipitates are redissolved, 
and if the dark-red solution thus obtained, containing from 4 to 5 per 
cent, of solid matter, is subjected to dialysis, mainly muriatic acid will 
pass through the septum upon which, after 19 days, remains a red liquid 
containing for 98*5 parts of oxide 1*5 part of muriatic acid. It 
remains liquid for 20 days and then gelatinizes, separating ferric 
hydrate. A similar solution of colloidal ferric hydrate may be obtained 
by dialysis of ferric acetate, and contains 6 parts of acetic acid to 94 
parts of ferric oxide." 

Calculating Graham's results as an oxychloride, the formula Fe 2 Cl 6 , 
95Fe 2 3 would be obtained, which seems to be hardly probable. At 
the same time, it must be remembered, that none of the so-cailed 
soluble oxide of iron has as yet been obtained free from acid. Gra- 
ham's figures, I believe, are the lowest thus far observed, and the 
solution was not permanent, but gelatinized spontaneously. It must 
therefore be granted that any permanent solution of so-called soluble 
oxide of iron must contain notable quantities of acid ; and within the 
past year such has been proven by Hager to be the case for several 
European preparations sold as oxide of iron. 

The behavior of these solutions is quite curious and apt to mislead, 


Note on Dtalyxed Iron. 

f Am. Jour. Pharm. 
\ July, 1877. 

unless care be taken to arrive at correct results. They will retain their 
clearness on boiling, are miscible with alcohol, glycerin, syrup, etc. v 
but readily yield precipitates on the addition of acids not in excess, or of 
saline solutions, the precipitates disappearing again on diluting with dis- 
tilled water. Tannin added in small quantities, darkens the solution 
somewhat, and on filtering leaves but little matter in the funnel ; on 
using a stronger solution of tannin a well diffused gelatinous precipitate 
takes place, having a deep brown, but not a black color, and the filtrate 
is colorless. Solution of nitrate of silver added in small quantity does 
not disturb the transparency of the liquid ; on adding more of the former 
a gelatinous brown precipitate takes place, and the colorless filtrate is free 
from iron, but the addition of distilled water causes the precipitate to 
dissolve again. Apparently, therefore, the solution is free from chloride ; 
but on adding first a slight excess of ammonia, filtering from the ferric 
hydrate, acidulating with nitric acid and then testing with nitrate of 
silver, a white precipitate of chloride of silver is formed. All these 
reactions as well as the slight astringent, not inky taste, and the intense 
brown-red color have been observed by the investigators named above, 
and they characterize also the commercial products. A sample 
recently handed to us, and said to contain no, or only traces of chlorine^ 
yielded when treated as above, abundant evidence of its presence. 

Physicians and pharmacists should, therefore, bear in mind that 
there is no soluble oxide of iron, but what is sold as such, be it imported 
or made in this country, is very basic oxy chloride of iron. This being the 
case, the question naturally presents itself whether such a solution can- 
not be obtained by saturating a solution of ferric chloride with hydrate 
of iron. That question is easily answered if the behavior to saline 
solutions is taken into consideration and the fact is remembered that, 
when solutions of ferric salts are precipitated by alkalies the ferric 
hydrate will invariably retain small quantities of the precipitant, which 
cannot be removed by washing with water. These saline impurities, 
minute as they may be, are sufficient to prevent the formation of the 
very basic oxychloride, or if formed it becomes insoluble in the liquid 
and nothing but dialysis or considerable dilution with distilled water 
can dissolve it again. To obtain it of the maximum strength indicated 
by Graham (5 per cent.) and also adopted by the Pharmaceutical Soci- 
ety of Paris (see page 349), dialysis appears to be unavoidable. 

As to the advantage of the dialyzed over the oxychloride made by 

A ^"i8 7 h 7 arrn -} Emulsion of Oil of Turpentine. • 345 

saturation with hydrate of iron, that is best ascertained by comparing their 
taste, which in the former is scarcely astringent, while that of the latter 
is distinctly ferruginous. A preparation now before me, imported from 
Germany, called Ferrum oxydatum dialysatum, I do not hesitate to say 
has been made by saturation alone, or by incomplete dialysis ; for its 
reaction is distinctly acid and its taste quite styptic. Some French 
preparations, sold by the same name, were found to be superior to the 
German in both respects ; but one yielded only 3*3 per cent, of solid 
matter, another less than half that quantity. A 5 per cent, solution 
of dialyzed iron should yield 3 grains of dry residue when 60 grains of 
it are carefully evaporated to complete dryness. 

The characteristics of a 5 per cent, solution of dialyzed iron may 
be stated to be — 

1. The deep brown-red color, which in thin layers i's perfectly trans- 

2. The freedom from odor and taste, it being merely faintly astrin- 
gent to the palate. 

3. The absence of even slight acid reaction to test-paper ; and 

4. The behavior to tannin and to saline solutions (even spring 
water), as stated above. 

It is best given by itself upon sugar, or mixed with some simple 
syrup which is free from acid. It should be mentioned yet that the 
same preparation has made its appearance in Austria as catalytic iron. 


By Louis Genois. 

Emulsionizing oil of turpentine and volatile oils generally is considered 
a rather difficult operation, and many pharmacists have come to the 
conclusion that an elegant and somewhat permanent mixture is almost- 
impossible. Various methods have been suggested to overcome the diffi- 
culties, but none have been very successful ; the latest process I believe 
is that of Mr. Forbes, published in February, 1872, in the "Amer. 
Jour. Phar.," and though it is both ingenious and rapid of execution, 
it hardly affords a satisfactory result. With the view of ascertaining 
the possibility of finding a substance that would answer the purpose 
better than anything usually employed, I made a number of expeiiments 
with the following: gum tracaganth, dextrin, starch and castile soap. 

346 The Use of Glycerin in Fluid Extracts. { Am j^, r if 7 ^ 

I found the latter to better possess the properties of a suspending 
medium than any other, the mixture with it retaining its homogeneous- 
ness almost indefinitely, besides it has the advantage of having some 
similar properties to the turpentine, and would be a valuable adjunct as 
well as a useful addition in many cases. The smallest proportion that I 
have found to answer is 10 grains of soap, I ounce of oil, to any quan- 
tity of water ; the soap is to be put into a round bottomed mortar, the 
oil added by degrees with continual trituration ; when well mixed transfer 
to a bottle, add half an ounce of water, shake vigorously, add a little 
more water, shake again, and the emulsion is made, is very white, and 
will not separate on the addition of a gallon or more of water. The 
soap should be perfectly dry and in very fine powder, otherwise it will 
not do as well ; it is obvious that any other volatile oil can be treated in 
the same manner, and will afford equally good results. 
Ne-xv Orleans y June ioth, 1877. 


By John Wesley Lehman, Ph.G. 
[From an Inaugural Essay.) 
A number of experiments were made with officinal and unofficinal 
fluid extracts, with the view of determining the preservative qualities 
of glycerin in this class of preparations. The results obtained may be 
tabulated as follows : 




Dark reddish-brown, after 2 weeks mud- 
dy; filtered, became again turbid. 
Of lighter color; remained clear. 
Gelatinized in 4 weeks. 
Alcohol 2 p., water & glycerin each 1 p., Did not gelatinize ; slight precipitate. 
Alcohol 3 p., glyceric 1 p., Dense precipitate in 5 days. 

Officinal, Dark and clear ; slight precipitate in two 


Dil. alcohol 3 p., glycerin 1 p., " " 

Officinal, " " 

" Brown-red ; clear. 

Officinal, Soon turbid, and considerable precipitate. 

Water 8 fl. oz.. afterwards glycerin and Slight precipitate after 4 weeks, 
dilute alcohol equal p., 

Fluid Extract of Menstruum. 
Aconite root, Alcohol 3 p., glycerin 1 p , 

" " Alcohol, 
Asclepias tuberosa, Dil. alcohol 3 p., glycerin 


Conium (leaves ?), 


Grindelia robusta, 
Primus Virginiana, 

Alcohol 3 p., glycerin 1 p., 
Alcohol 8 p., glycerin 1 p., 

Alcohol, with small prop, of glycerin, 

Dark and clear; slight prec. on standing, 
Remains clear. 

Very muddy in two weeks ; filtered, 

muddy again in one week. 
Slight precpitate in two weeks ; filtered, 

very slight change afterwards. 
Remains clear. 
Precipitated some in 5 days. 

The author concludes that the use of glycerin in fluid extracts. of 
astringent drugs adds much to the beauty and stability of the prepara- 

Am ji°y, r 'i8 P 77 arm '} Extr actum Glycyrrhiz<e Depuratum. 347 

tion. Its use appears also to be indicated for those drugs the active 
principles of which are soluble in water and dilute alcohol. In fluid 
extracts of mucilaginous drugs like pleurisy root it cannot be used to 
any great extent, and it is best discarded altogether in all cases where 
the active principle is of a resinous nature. 


By Gustav A. Appenzeller, Ph.G. 

From an Inaugural Essay. 

The author recommends to dispense in liquid preparations, and more 
particularly in the officinal Mist. Glycyrrh. comp., the purified extract 
of liquorice of the German Pharmacopoeia in place of powdered liquorice. 
It is prepared by putting into a suitable vessel alternate layers of straw 
and commercial liquorice, covering with cold filtered water, drawing 
off the liquid from time to time and evaporating to the consistence of 
a thick syrup. It yields a clear solution with water, and an excellent 
syrup of liquorice may be prepared from it by mixing one ounce with a 
pint of simple syrup. 

The following brands of liquorice yielded the amounts of extract 
[of what consistence?] stated below: Duca di Corigliana 77*24, M. 
& R. 72-66, P. & S. 61*22, A. & S. 60*91, and Noely 58*92 per cent. 
The residues, insoluble in cold water, had a similar appearance, and 
contained starch. 

Ammoniacal glycyrrhixin was prepared according to Roussin, by 
exhausting the bruised root with little water, boiling the liquid, remov- 
ing the coagulated albumen, precipitating with hydrochloric acid, 
washing the precipitate, dissolving in ammonia and drying upon glass, 
when yellowish scales having the taste of the root were obtained. 

By exhausting the root with diluted ammonia water, evaporating and 
drying on glass, a considerably larger quantity of somewhat darker 
colored scales were obtained. A similar but still darker colored pre- 
paration results if liquorice is treated in the same manner. The scales 
made from the root are more pleasant in taste, particularly if Russian 
liquorice root, deprived of the brown cortical layer, is used. 



Am. Jour. Pharm. 
July, 1877. 


By the Editor. 

In continuation of the formulas discussed and adopted by the Paris 
Pharmaceutical Society (see p. 233), we select the following : 

Solution of sodium phenate [Phenol sodique.) — Phenic acid 70 
grams, caustic soda 30 grams ; water sufficient to make 1 liter. 

Syrup of Chloral Hydrate. — Dissolve 50 grams of crystallized 
chloral hydrate in 950 grams of orange-flower syrup. A tablespoonful 
(20 grams) contains 1 gram of chloral hydrate. 

Tincture of Quillaia. — 100 grams of quillaia bark are digested in 
500 grams of alcohol in a suitable apparatus, placed in a water-bath, 
the temperature being maintained near the boiling point for half an 
hour ; the whole is then macerated for 48 hours with occasional agita- 
tion and afterwards filtered. The tincture is mainly employed in 
preparing emulsions of substances insoluble in water, such as copaiba, 
tar, oil of cade, which are made according to the formula for 

Emulsion of Tolu Balsam. — Dissolve 2 grams of balsam of tolu 
in 10 grams of 90 per cent, alcohol, add 10 grams of tincture of 
quillaia and mix with 78 grams of hot water. 

Preparations of Eucalyptus Globulus. — The infusion, wine, elixir 
and extract are made from eucalyptus leaves, in the same manner as 
the corresponding preparations of coca, (see p. 236.) 

Water of Eucalyptus. — Distil 1 part of dry eucalyptus leaves with 
sufficient water to obtain 4 parts of distillate. 

Syrup of Eucalyptus. — Infuse 50 grams of eucalyptus leaves for three 
hours with sufficient water to obtain, after expression and filtration, 250 
grams of infusion, add 100 grams of distilled eucalyptus water and 
dissolve in the liquid 650 grams of sugar, using a covered vessel placed 
in a water-bath. 

Tincture of Physostigma. — Macerate 100 parts of powdered 
Calabar bean in 500 parts of 80 per cent, alcohol for 10 days ; express 
and filter. 

Glycerite of extract of physostigma is made in three different 
proportions. The alcoholic extract of Calabar bean is well mixed 
with 10, 20 or 100 times its weight of glycerin and dissolved by the 
aid of a moderate heat. It should be completely dissolved. 

Am. Jour. Pharm ) 
July, 1877. / 



Bromide of Iron. — The solution of this salt does not keep well, 
and is at once made up into syrup or pills. It is made by using 40 
grams of iron filings, 216 grams distilled water and 80 grams bromine, 
and contains one-third its weight of ferrous bromide. 

Pills of Ferrous Bromide. — 15 grams of the preceding solution 
and 10 grams powdered iron are evaporated in a porcelain capsule, until 
the water has been driven off" ; the mass, while still hot, is transferred 
to a warm mortar, mixed with sufficient powdered gum arabic and 
licorice root until a mass is obtained, which is divided into 100 pills ; 
they are to be rolled in lycopodium or covered with a mixture of gum 
and sugar. 

Syrup of Ferrous Bromide. — 15 grams of the solution are mixed with 
985 grams of syrup of gum, flavored with orange-flower water. 

Ferrous chloride is made by dissolving iron in hydrochloric acid 
and evaporating the filtered solution rapidly to dryness. 

Syrup of Ferrous Chloride. — -Dissolve 5 grams of dry ferrous chlor- 
ide in 20 grams of orange-flower water, and add 800 grams syrup 
of gum and 175 grams syrup of orange-flower. 

Pills of Ferrous Chloride. — Dry ferrous chloride, powdered marshmal- 
low-root, each 10 grams, mucilage sufficient. Make into 100 pills, 
which are to be silvered. 

Dialyzed Oxide of Iron. — 100 grams solution of ferric chloride of 
30°B., are mixed in small quantities with 35 grams ammonia water of 
22°B. The precipitate dissolves at first rapidly, afterwards very slowly. 
When the liquid has become transparent it is introduced into a dialysa- 
tor, and this placed in distilled water, which is to be frequently renewed, 
until the liquid is no longer precipitated by nitrate of silver and is des- 
titute of acid reaction. It still contains a small quantity of hydro- 
chloric acid, which may be recognized by precipitating with ammonia, 
acidulating with nitric acid and testing with silver nitrate. 10 cc. of 
the liquid, which is entirely free from disagreeable ferruginous taste, 
are evaporated, and from the weighed residue the amount of water is 
calculated which must be added to obtain a solution containing in 100 cc. 
1 gram of solid matter. 

Syrup of Ferrous Chlorhydro-phosphate. — Ferrous chloride, 
medicinal phosphoric acid, of each 5 grams ; distilled water 350 grams ; 
sugar 640 grams. Make a syrup. 



( Am. Jour. Pharm. 
\ July, 1877. 

Syrup of Pyrophosphate of Iron and Sodium. — Dissolve 25 
grams of sodium pyrophosphate in 250 grams of distilled water, and 5 
grams of dry ferric sulphate in 100 grams of water ; add this last to the 
former solution, and in the clear and colorless liquid dissolve 620 grams 
of sugar. 

The solutions of the two last preparations are obtained by omitting 
the sugar and adding enough distilled water to make 1 liter of solution. 

Glycerites of subnitrate of bismuth, of laudanum, of extract 
of lead and of extract of rhatany are made with 90 parts glycerite 
of starch by mixing it intimately with 10 parts of subnitrate of bis- 
muth, of Sydenham's Laudanum, of Goulard's Extract, or of extract of 
rhatany, the latter to be previously dissolved in the smallest possible 
quantity of glycerin. 

Tar Water. — The wood tar should be of a red-brown color, trans- 
parent and free from resinous deposits. Mix 5 grams of such tar inti- 
mately with 10 grams of pine-wood sawdust, and macerate for 24 hours 
with 1,000 grams of distilled or rain water, stirring frequently. 

Syrup of Tar. — 15 grams of tar and 30 grams pine-wood sawdust are 
mixed, and digested at 6o°C. with 1,000 grams water, with occasional 
agitation. Filter at the end of two hours upon the sugar, 190 grams 
of which are to be used for every 100 grams of the filtrate, and effect 
the solution in a closed vessel, heating it by means of a water bath. 

Syrup of lodotannin, Strop lodotannique. — Dissolve 1 gram of 
iodine in 11 grams of 90 per cent, alcohol, add to syrup of rhatany 
(containing 2"5 per cent, of extract of rhatany) 988 grams, and mix 
well. The combination will be completed at the ordinary temperature 
in 24 hours, when the syrup has again its original color. 

Iodinized syrup of horseradish is made in precisely the same way 
as the preceding, substituting the same weight of compound syrup of 

Syrup of Iodide of Starch. — Dissolve 10 grams of soluble iodide 
of starch in 330 grams of distilled water, and use this solution for dis- 
solving 640 grams of sugar, by the aid of a gentle heat. 

Pilocarpina. — The leaves or bark of Pilocarpus pennatifolius are 
exhausted with 80 per cent, alcohol, containing in the liter 8 grams of 
hydrochloric acid, and the tincture is distilled and evaporated to the con- 
sistency of a liquid extract, which is mixed with a small quantity of 

Am. four. Pharm. > 
July, 1877. ; 


3S l 

water, and filtered. The filtrate is treated with a slight excess of am- 
monia, and then with a large quantity of chloroform. The chloroform 
solution is agitated with water, to which hydrochloric acid is added, 
drop by drop, in sufficient quantity to neutralize the alkaloid, the hydro- 
chlorate of which is obtained in long needles on evaporating the aque- 
ous solution, while foreign principles remain dissolved in the chloro- 
form. By dissolving the crystals in water, treating the solution with 
ammonia and chloroform, and evaporating the latter solution, pilocar- 
pina is obtained as a soft viscous mass, which is little soluble in water, 
but freely soluble in alcohol, ether and chloroform. 

Effervescing Carbonate of Lithium. — Take of citric acid 40 grams, 
bicarbonate of sodium 50 grams, and carbonate of lithium 10 grams. 
Powder and mix well, then introduce into a wide flat-bottomed dish, 
and heat to about ioo°C. (2I2°F.), stirring constantly until the pow- 
der becomes granular. Separate the granules of uniform size by means 
of appropriate sieves, and preserve them in well-stopped bottles. 

Extract of Malt. — Take of malt, the germ of which has attained 
two-thirds the length of the grain, dry at 50°C. (i22°F.), grind and 
treat it with two parts of water at the ordinary temperature, stirring the 
mixture occasionally. After 5 or 6 hours express, strain, filter and 
evaporate in a shallow dish at a temperature not exceeding 45 C. 


Syrup of Narceina. — Dissolve 1 gram of narceina in 100 grams of 
water, containing '6 gram hydrochloric acid ; add to the solution 250 
grams of water, and then dissolve 650 grams of white sugar. Each 
tablespoonful of 20 grams contains *02 gram (J grain) of narceina. 

Pancreatin. — Pancreas is freed from foreign matters, bruised and 
mixed with water containing some chloroform to prevent decomposi- 
tion. After some time the mass is expressed and the liquid filtered and 
evaporated rapidly in shallow dishes by means of a current of air, at a 
temperature not exceeding 45°C. (113F.) *io gram of pancreatin 
digested with 5 grams of fibrin and 25 grams of water, at a tempera- 
ture of 50°C. (i22°F.) for 12 hours, yields a solution which, when 
filtered, is scarcely rendered turbid by the addition of nitric acid. *io 
gram of pancreatin, adced to 100 grams of paste containing 5 grams 
starch, yield a liquid which filters easily and decolorizes 4 times its vol- 
ume of Fehling's solution. 

352 Spirit of Nitrous Ether. \ Am jl™I% m ' 


By C. Lewis Diehl. 

{Read at the Pharmaceutical Meeting of the Louis-ville College of Pharmacy, held June 

7th, 1877.) 

About eighteen months ago I had occasion, for the first time, to 
prepare spirit of nitrous ether by the process of the present " Pharma- 
copoeia." Operating with the pharmacopoeial quantities, and observing 
the care which a considerate experience in the manufacture of this 
product by the old method had taught me, I obtained results some- 
what at variance with the requirements and statements of our standard. 
I have since had opportunity to confirm the results then obtained, and 
propose in this paper to discuss these, together with such additional 
observations as are pertinent to the subject. 

The methods which have been proposed from time to time for the 
preparation of nitrous ether, or its medicinal solutions, differ mainly in 
the manner in which two principal methods are applied : the one pro- 
ducing nitrous ether by the direct action of nitric acid on alcohol ; the 
other by the direct action of nitrous acid on the same liquid. The 
first named method is the older one, and is the one that was discarded 
at the last revision of our " Pharmacopoeia." The product of the 
direct action of nitric acid upon alcohol, irrespective of the modifica- 
tion of the method, always contains, besides nitrous ether, variable 
quantities of acetic and formic ethers, and aldehyd : the relative 
quantities of these depending on the temperature, quantities operated 
on, etc. By the second method — the direct action of nitrous acid on 
alcohol — nitrous ether is formed, it is claimed, to the exclusion of the 
other compounds, and this is the method applied in the process of the 
present " Pharmacopoeia." This process, which is practically identical 
with that of the "British Pharmacopoeia," was proposed in 1867, by 
Professor Theophilus Redwood. In the very interesting paper in 
which the process is described, 1 Professor Redwood reviews the various 
methods that have at different times been suggested, and, among these, 
finds that of E. Kopp for the production of nitrous ether to be, with 
certain modifications, the one suited to secure uniformlv a spirit of 
definite strength and purity. Kopp's process consists in heating a 
mixture of equal volumes of nitric acid, sp. gr. 1*36, and rectified 

1 " Phar. Jour, and Trans. viii, 508 5 "Am. Jour. Phar.," 1867, 321. 

Am. Jour. Pharm ) 
July, 1877. J 

Spirit of Nitrous Ether. 


spirit in contact with copper filings, and, when chemical action has 
commenced, withdrawing the heat and allowing the distillation to go 
on spontaneously. The process, however, whiie well suited for the 
preparation of nitrous ether, is wasteful and, consequently, expensive ; 
while, at the same time, the reaction does not proceed with the desired 
regularity. After numerous experiments, Professor Redwood found 
that by the introduction of certain proportions of sulphuric acid, the 
complete utilization of the nitric acid for the formation of nitrous 
ether, with a minimum consumption of copper, could be secured, and 
that the reaction took place with the utmost regularity. The propor- 
tions found to work best, and these have been retained without change 
in the " British Pharmacopoeia," are : 

Nitric acid, sp. gr. 142, . . .3 fluidounces 

Sulphuric acid, sp. gr. 1*843, • • 2 " 

Copper, in fine wire (about No. 25), . . 2 ounces 

Rectified spirit (for the reaction), . . 20 fluidounces 

Rectified spirit (for diluting the distillate), . . 2 pints 

Professor Redwood's directions for manipulating these ingredients 
have been adopted verbatim in the " British Pharmacopoeia," and out- 
own standard has essentially adopted the same directions ; hence it is 
not necessary to reproduce them here. He further explains, that at a 
temperature of I50°F. bubbles begin to rise in the liquid in the retort ; 
that these increase to i70°F., when ether begins to form, and that 
when it reaches I75°F. the reaction proceeds rapidly and steadily until 
the nitric acid is all expended, without any further rise in temperature 
if the heat is properly adjusted. The completion of the process is 
indicated by the dissappearance of the froth — which is caused by 
chemical reaction, and not by boiling — and the distillate will then 
amount to about 12 fluidounces. The remaining one-half fluidounce 
of nitric acid is added " for the purpose of converting the undecom- 
posed spirit still in the retort into nitrous ether." The 15 fluidounces 
of distillate contain 35 per cent, of crude ether. When mixed with 
the remaining two pints of spirit, a product results which has a sp. 
gr. of 0*845, an d when mixed with twice its volume of concentrated 
solution of chloride of calcium, separates from two to three per cent, 
of nitrous ether. This indicates ten per cent, of ether [crude ?], as 
eight per cent, remain in solution. 

Comparing now the process of the United States with that of the 



Spirit of Nitrous Ether. 

f Am Jour. Pharm. 
\ July, 1877, 

" British Pharmacopoeia," it becomes evident that the changes made 
were necessary in order to secure a product conforming, as near as 
possible, with that of the " United States Pharmacopoeia " of i860. 
These changes at once become evident on consulting the following : 

Analytical comparison of the U. S. and Br. Ph. processes for preparing Spirit qj Nitrous- 
Ether, to which I shall have occasion to refer in the following pages: 

A. Weights and Measures. 

British. United States. 

Measures, Imperial. Apothecaries'. 

Weights, Avoirdupois. Troy. 

B. Quality of Ingredients. 

British. United States. 

Copper, As wire. As wire. 

Nitric acid, s P-g r - 1*42 =75 p.ct.HON0 5 Same as Br. 

Sulphuric acid, sp gr. 1 -843=96 p. ct. HOS0 3 Same as Br. 

Alcohol, • 0-838=84 p. ct. C 4 H 6 2 0-817=92 p. ct. C 4 H 6 (D 2 

C. Quantity of Ingredients. 

British. United States. 

Copper, 2 oz.= 875-0 grs. 2 oz.= 960 grs. 

Sulphuric acid, 2 f.oz.= i6i2-6 grs. 3^ oz.= i68o grs 

Nitric acid, 1st portion, 2| f.oz.= i553 o grs. 4 oz.= i92o grs. 

Nitric acid, 2d portion, j f.oz = 310-6 grs. J oz.= 240 grs. 

Alcohol, for the reacfn, 20 f.oz =7332-5 grs. 20 f.oz. =7445 grs. 

Alcohol, for dilution, 40 f.oz. 92 f.oz. 

D. Relation of water to absolute alcohol and monohydrated acids. 

British. United Statas. 

Absolute alcohol, 6159 grs. 6830-0 grs. 

Water from alcohol, 1173-0 grs. 615-0 grs. 

Monohydrated nit. acid, 13977 grs. 1620-0 grs. 

Water from nit. acid, 465*9 grs. 54°'0 grs. 

Monohydrated sul. acid, 1561-0 grs. 1624 grs. 

Water from sul. acid, 51-6 grs. 55-7 grs. 
Total weight of absol. 
ale. and monohy- 
drated acids, 9117-7 grs. 10084-0 grs. 
Tot'i weight of wat'r, 1690-5 grs. 12 10 7 grs. 
Total weight of liquids 

used in the react'n, 10808*2 grs. 1 1295*0 grs. 
Percentage of uncom- 

bined water, 15^64 per cent. 10*72 per cent. 

Am. Jour. Phartn. ) 
July, 1877. ; 

Spirit of Nitrous Ether. 


E. Relation of HONO b to C i H 6 2 used and consumed in the reaction. 

British. United States. 

HON0 5 , i'o weight part. i-o weight part. 

C 4 H 6 2 , used in the re- 
action, 4-406 " 4*216 " 

C 4 H 6 2 , consumed by 

the reaction, 0*730 " 0*730 " 

Absolute amount of C 4 

H 6 2 consumed, 1020*5 grains. 1 142*8 grains. 

F. Results according to the standards. 

British. United States. 

First distillate, 12 fluidounces. 13 fluidounces. 

Second distillation, 3 " 2 " 

Total distillation, 15 " 15 " 

Total spirit, 55 " (more or less.) 107 " (exact.) 

Specific gravity of spirit 

claimed, 0*845 °'837 

Percentage of nitrous 

ether in spirit 

claimed, 10 per cent. 5 per cent. 

G. Increase in the ponderability oj the product over that of the alcohol used. 

British. United States. 

1000 volumes of alco- 
hol weigh : 838 parts. 817 parts. 

1000 volumes of spirit 
of nitrous ether 

weigh: 845 parts. 837 parts. 

Increase by the intro- 
duction of the re- 
spective percent- 
ages of nit. ether, 7 parts. 20 parts. 

Increase for 1 per ct. of 

nitrous ether, 0*7 parts. 4*0 parts. 

H. Possible quantity of nitrous ether {C±H b ONO.^) produced by the respective processes. 

British. United States. 

Absolute quantity by 

volume, 4 0145 f.oz. 4'4^9 f.oz. 

Absolute quantity by 
weight, the sp. gr. 
of nitrous ether be- 
ing 947, 1663 26 grs. 1928*5 grs. 

Possible percentage of 
a^plute nitrous 

ether in the spirit, 7*298 per cent. 4*1766 per cent. 

3S 6 

Spirit of Nitrous Ether. 

J Am. Jour. Pharm. 
I July, 1877. 

In the course of my experiments numerous questions presented 
themselves for solution, the most important of which I shall endeavor 
to answer in the present paper, in the order below given : 

1. " Is it possibles, or necessary, to obtain the quantity of distillate 
required by the 'Pharmacopoeia?'" 

2. ct Is the specific gravity of spirit of nitrous ether, U. S. P., cor- 
rectly stated ?" 

3. ct Is the percentage of nitrous ether in the spirit of nitrous ether 
of the U. S. P. correctly stated ?" 

4. " Is the method of Br. Ph. for determining the percentage of 
nitrous ether in the spirit of that standard reliable within pharmaceu- 
tical limits, and can it be made available for the product of the 
U. S. P.?" 


This question presented itself very forcibly when I prepared spirit 
of nitrous ether for the first time by the present process. I had con- 
ducted the process with extreme precaution, and assured myself that 
the condensing facilities were within the pharmacopceial requirements \ 
the reaction proceeded with the regularity so characteristic of this pro- 
cess, and proper compensation had been made for the somewhat weaker 
than officinal acids used. Nevertheless I failed to obtain the quantity 
of first distillate required, notwithstanding that the heating was con- 
tinued for some time after the reaction had ceased. On adding the 
second portion of nitric acid and heating as directed, the additional two 
fluidounces of distillate were readily obtained, making, with the first 
portion, a total distillate of a little over 9 fluidounces. But on mixing 
this with the reserved quantity of stronger alcohol, presented by the 
" Pharmacopoeia," a spirit of nitrous ether was obtained, which corre- 
sponded in all its characters to the officinal spirit, with the single 
exception: that its specific gravity was 0*822 instead of 0*837. Not 
having at the outset any reason to doubt the correctness of the phar- 
macopceial requirements, this first operation was not conducted as an 
experiment, and, consequently, no record of temperature, progress of 
distillation, etc., was kept ; but with these results before me, I resolved 
at the next opportunity to conduct the process experimentally. ,£ 
First Experimental Distillation. — A slight odor of nitrous ether having 

Am. Jour. Pharm. 
July, 1877 

Spirit of Nitrous Ether. 


been perceptible in the room during the previous distillation, probably 
owing to a small opening which had been purposely left in the receiver ; 
in this and the subsequent distillation the receiver was provided with a 
small glass tube, bent twice at right angles, and dipping into alcohol 
contained in a vial loosely stopped with cotton and resting on a support 
a little higher than the column of alcohol. The arrangement is shown 
in the accompanying cut. 

By this arrangement the loss of ether was completely prevented, 
the temperature of the water flowing through the condenser being 
58 F., while the temperature of the room did not exceed 65 F. at 
any time. The alcohol was of the proper strength (sp. gr. 0*817) 
and neutral ; the nitric acid 
had the sp. gr. 1*365 (=63*5 
per cent. HONO-); the 
sulphuric acid the sp. gr. 
1*830 (=93 per cent. HO 
S0 3 ) ; the copper was in 
thin sheets, and cut into 
small pieces. Proper com- 
pensation having been made 
for the weaker acids used, 
the process was conducted 
as officinally directed, with 
this exception, that, for want 
of time, the mixture of alco- 
hol and sulphuric acid was 
allowed to stand several days 
before commencing the dis- 

First Heating . Commenc- 
ed at 9.30 A.M., temp. 62 
F. ; commenced to simmer 
at 9.41 A.M., temp. 143 
F. ; heat removed when temp, was 152 F. ; rose spontaneously to 
165 F. ; at 10 A. M. temp, commenced to fall, heat again applied; 
at 10.25 tne temp, was 170 F. ; at 10.35 the reaction slackened, 
temp. 176 F., heat increased ; at 10.42 the distillate passed, drop by 

a. The receiver, rather tall, which is con- 
nected, air tight, with a Liebig's condenser. 

b. The absorbing bottle, containing a meas- 
ured quantity of stronger alcohol. 

c. The support, the removal of which pre- 
vents the return of the contents of the ab- 
sorbing bottle into the receiver, in case of 
condensation occurring in the retort by cool- 

a is closed by a cork stopper. 
b is closed by cotton. 


Spirit of Nitrous Ether. 

j Am. Jour. Pharm. 
I July, 1877. 

drop, and the reaction had ceased, temp. 180 F. ; the retort was now- 
allowed to cool. Yield of distillate, 6f fluidounces. 

Second Heating. Added the reserved portion of nitric acid at 12.35 
P.M., temp. 90 F. ; commenced to simmer at 140 F. ; at 12.57 t ^ le 
temp, was 170 F. ; at 1.25 the distillation was ended. Yield of dis- 
tillate, 2 fluidounces. 

Into the absorbing bottle 6 fluidounces of alcohol had been placed. 
After the conclusion of the process this measured fluidounces, show- 
ing an additional yield of | fluidounce, and making a total yield of 9J 
fluidounces of distillate. 

The reaction proceeded with the utmost regularity, and the end was 
characterized by the sudden disappearance of the abundant frothy 
ebullition, followed by gentle simmering for a short time. Upon dilut- 
ing the distillate with the reserved quantity of stronger alcohol, a spirit 
was obtained which, like the first, correspond with the officinal require- 
ments in every resptct, except in its sp. gr., which was 0-8225 at 6o°F. 

Second Experimental Distillation. — It was observed in the previous opera- 
tions that, after the reaction ceased, if the temperature was maintained 
at i8o°F., distillation would proceed drop by drop. It was therefore re- 
solved in this experiment to continue the heating until the pharmacopoeial 
quantities of distillate had been obtained. It had also been suggested 
to me that if more sulphuric acid was added after the reaction, an 
additional quantity of distillate might be readily obtained. For this 
reason an ounce of sulphuric acid was added after the first heating with 
the result below indicated. As in the previous operation, the acids 
were somewhat weaker than officinal in this instance, and correspond- 
ingly larger quantities were used. The nitric acid had a sp. gr. of 
1*372 (=64*5 per cent., HON0 5 ) ; the sulphuric acid was of sp. gr. 
1*838 (=95 per cent., HOSO s ) ; the alcohol was of sp. gr. 817, and 
neutral ; the copper was in thin sheets. With a view of obtaining 
absolutely true measures, the volume of alcohol necessary was obtained 
by measures of weight instead of measures of capacity, the fluidounce 
being taken at 372*216 grains, that of water weighing 455*669 (Pile's 
average, "U. S. Dispensatory," 13th edit., 1735). The mixture of 
sulphuric acid and alcohol was made in the evening, and the distillation 
commenced next morning, the temperature of the room ranging between 
6o° and 65°F., that of the condensing water being 56°F. 

Am )l™J% rm ' } Spirit of Nitrous Ether. 359 

First heating : 

11.25 A.M., heat applied to water-bath. Temperature, 6z° Fahr. 

1 j. 47 " " ioo° " 

12.4 P.M., commenced to simmer. " I 5°° " 

12.6 " reaction energetic ; turned down gas. " 160 " 

12.10 " " 168 " 

12.13 " turned gas higher. u 168 " 

12.23 " " 170 " 

12.30 " " I 75° " 

12.40 " turned down gas ; distillation drop by drop. " 180 " 

12.50 " allowed to cool. " 178 " 

1.45 " amount of distillate 10^ fl. oz, " 900 " 

Second heating (with one ounce of sulphuric acid added) : 

2.18 P.M., applied heat. Temperature, 8o° Fahr. 

3.7 " no reaction ; distillation drop by drop. " 180 " 

4.45 " amount of distillate 1 fl. oz. " 90 " 

Third heating (with reserved portion of nitric acid) : 

4.47 P.M., applied heat. Temperature, 90 Fahr. 

4.55 " commenced to react briskly, and for 
the first time some vapors passed 
through absorbing bottle. 

5 " the reaction was over. " 180 " 

6 " total distillate 13 fl. oz. 

9.25 " the requisite quantity of distillate, 15 fl. oz., obtained. 

The 15 fluidounces of distillate, when diluted to the proper vol- 
ume with stronger alcohol, corresponded in its odor, color and taste, in 
its relation to litmus, to bicarbonate of potassium, and to heat, in its 
boiling point, and in its freedom from aldehyd (relation to solution of 
potassa), to the officinal requirements, but its sp. gr. ivas only 0*825 
at 6o°F. 

If we now review the foregoing experiments we find that the only 
deviations from the officinal directions consisted in the use of weaker 
acids in proportionately larger quantities, and in the substitution of thin 
sheet-copper for copper wire. By the use of weaker acids, it is true, 
a portion of water is introduced, but this can have no influence on the 
reaction if we accept Prof. Redwood's experiments, and consequently 
the process of the Br. Ph. to be correct, since, in the latter process, the 
relation of water to monohvdrated acids and absolute alcohol is much 
greater than in the U. S. process (see table D). It is hardly probable 
that the substitution of thin sheet-copper for copper wire can have any 

3 6 ° 

Spirit of Nitrous Ether. 

Am. Jour. Pharm, 
July, 1877. 

influence on the reaction, and we must, therefore, look for some other 
cause for the disparity in the quantity of distillate. This, I now believe, 
to be owing to the temperature at which the reaction is allowed to take 
place. It will be noticed that in the first experimental distillation the 
heat was removed when the thermometer indicated I52°F. This was 
done because the reaction was quite energetic, as evidenced by abundant 
frothy ebullition, and because the " Pharmacopoeia " directs caution in 
the application of heat. It was expected that the temperature would 
rise spontaneously to near the limit designed by the "Pharmacopoeia;"' 
but instead it rose only to 165 , and heat had subsequently to be kept 
up until the reaction was completed. 

It the second experimental distillation the heat was never completely 
removed, but at i6o°F. the gas flame heating the water-bath was turned 
low, upon which the temperature rose to i68°F., and there remained 
stationary for some time, until the heat was again increased. Now this 
slight difference in the heating appears to have had a remarkable effect in 
increasing the volume of distillate ; for, while by the first heating of the 
first- experimental distillation only 6-f fluidounces of distillate were 
obtained, the time required being 1 hour and 12 minutes ; the yield of 
the first heating of the second experimental distillation, time 1 hour 
and 25 minutes, was about 10J fluidounces. Furthermore, on con- 
sulting the directions of the Br. Ph., it will be observed that the distil- 
lation is to be conducted " at a temperature commencing at 170 and 
rising to 175 , but not exceeding 180 ." This rather unfortunately 
worded direction, can only mean that the heat is to be applied until the 
temperature reaches 170 , and that it is then to be checked, when it 
will rise spontaneously to 1 75 . As Prof. Redwood undoubtedly 
readily obtained the required quantity of distillate, any disparity in the 
quantity of distillate must be due to the temperature at which the reac- 
tion is allowed to take place, and that this view is correct is further 
confirmed by the results of Alfred E. Tanner, 1 who, following the pro- 
cess of the Br. Ph., obtained only 11 fluidounces of total distillate; but 
he had deviated from the officinal directions by distilling "at a tem- 
perature commencing at 160 , and rising to 175 ." 

Mr. Tanner found, however, that the 11 fluidounces of distillate 
obtained contained the full officinal quantity of nitrous ether, and this 

1 "Am, Jour. Phar.," Feb , 1871, p. 82, from " Phar. Jour, and Trans." 

Am. Jour. Pharm. 1 
July, 1877. / 

Spirit of Nitrous Ether. 


I believe to be true also for the smaller quantities of distillate obtained 
in my experiments, since the spirits made with them corresponded very 
closely with the product of the second experimental distillation, and all 
of them corresponded with the officinal spirit in every character, except 
specific gravity. The question now properly arises, how or in what 
manner the temperature affects the volume of distillate without at the 
same time affecting the quantity of ether ? This also permits of easy 
explanation. In both processes a very large excess of alcohol is used 
(see tables D and E). The formation of nitrous ether takes place as 
readily at the lower as at the higher temperature, but at the higher 
temperature the reaction is more violent, and, being also much nearer 
the boiling point of alcohol, a relatively larger quantity of the alcohol, 
not necessary to the reaction, is carried over. 

The first question may therefore be answered as follows: 

1 . // is possible to obtain the quantity of distillate required by the " Phar- 
macopoeia" Whether this is possible without unnecessarily long-continued 
heating, as in the instance of the " second experimental distillation"- is not 
decided by the above experiments, but seems probable. 

2. It is not necessary to obtain the full quantity of distillate required by 
the a Pharmacopoeia." If the reaction takes place at a lower temperature 
the yield is smaller, but the etherification is complete and the distillate more 
concentrated than at a higher temperature, at which a correspondingly larger 
quantity of undecomposed alcohol is carried over with the ether vapor. 


The " Pharmacopoeia " states that : Ck Spirit of nitrous ether has a 
specific gravity of 0*837. " On looking over the IC Journals," I find 
that only two experimenters, Oakley Griggs 1 and Geo. W. Kennedy, 2 
have recorded the specific gravity of nitrous ether obtained by them 
since the publication of the present " Pharmacopoeia," but neither of 
them gives the details of the process as carried out. The sp. gr. of 
Mr. Griggs' product is stated to be 0*834 ; that of Mr. Kennedy's, 
0*835. I have already stated that the three products obtained by me 
corresponded in all their characters with the officinal requirements, 
except in their specific gravities : the product of the first distillation 

-"A. J. Ph.," Oct., 1875, P- 4 6 3' 2 Ibid., June, 1876, p. 259. 

362 Spirit of Nitrous Ether. { Xm )X r J% rm ' 

having the sp. gr. 0*822 ; of the first " experimental " distillation, 
0*8225; of the second u experimental " distillation, 0*825. With 
these results before me, I naturally began to inquire into the correct- 
ness of the pharmacopoeial statement, when it soon became evident 
that, unless great condensation occurs by the solution of nitrous ether 
in stronger alcohol, the statement of the U. S. P. must be based on 

The " Pharmacopoeia," after giving the specific gravity of the spirit, 
states that it " contains 5 per cent, of its peculiar ether." Without 
pausing to consider whether this statement is correct or incorrect, and 
assuming it to be true for pure ether, the question arises, whether the 
percentage given is meant to be percentage by weight or percentage by 
volume. Neither the " United States Dispensatory "( 13th ed.) nor 
u Parrish's Pharmacy" (4th ed.) throw any light on this point. The 
" British Pharmacopoeia," however, states of its own preparation: u If 
it is agitated with twice its volume of saturated solution of chloride of 
calcium, in a closed tube, 2 per cent, of its original volume will separate 
in the form of nitrous ether, and rise to the surface of the mixture." It 
does not say that the preparation should contain 10 per cent, of nitrous 
ether; but one of the editors of " Pareira's Materia Medica" (abridged 
ed., 1872), probably Prof. Redwood, commenting on the process, says: 
tc The separation of 2 per cent, of nitrous ether indicates the presence 
of about 10 per cent, of nitrous ether, 8 per cent, remaining dissolved 
in the mixture." It is, therefore, safe to assume that the U. S. P. 
intends to indicate volume and not weight per cent. 1 

If, then, spirit of nitrous ether is composed of 5 per cent., by vol- 
ume, of absolute nitrous ether, sp. gr. 0*94.7, and 95 per cent., by 
volume, of stronger alcohol, sp. gr. 0*817, what should be its sp. gr., 
if no condensation occurs ? 

5 volumes of nitrous ether, sp. gr. o 947, weigh 4735 parts, 

95 volumes of stronger alcohol, sp. gr. 0-817, weigh 77*615 parts, 
100 volumes of spirit of nitrous ether weigh 82 350 parts, 

indicating a specific gravity of 0*8235, which, while totally at variance 
with the " Pharmacopoeia," corresponds very nearly to the specific 
gravities obtained by me. 

1 Since writing the above I have had opportunity to consult the latest (14th) 
edition of the "United States Dispensatory," in which (page 1445) I find the 
following statement: "The sweet spirit of nitre obtained by the old formula was 
estimated to contain 4 per cent, in 'volume of nitrous ether. 

Am. Jour. Pt arm ) 
July, 1877. J 

Spirit of Nitrous Ether. 


If we now apply the same rule to the product of the l< British Phar- 
macopoeia," we obtain results which very nearly correspond to the 
statement of that standard. In this process rectified spirit of sp. gr. 
0*838 (see Table B) is used, while the finished product contains 10 
per cent, of nitrous ether and has a specific gravity of 0*845 ( see 
Table F) : 

10 volumes of nitrous ether, sp. gr. 0*947, weigh 9*47 parts, 

90 volumes of rectified spirit, sp. gr. 838, weigh 75*42 parts, 

100 volumes of spirit of nitrous ether weigh 84 89 parts, 

indicating a specific gravity of 0*8489 ; a result which corresponds suffi- 
ciently close when it is considered that the " British Pharmacopoeia " 
does not positively claim 10 per cent, of absolute nitrous ether in its 

It is evident from these results that if the sp. gr. of the British pre- 
paration is correct, that of the United States preparation must be 
wrong ; and this becomes more apparent when we review the increase 
in ponderability over the respective alcohols used in the two processes, 
as shown in the Table G ; for, while 1000 volumes of the British 
product weigh but 7 parts heavier than the alcohol used for its prepara- 
tion, being 0*7 parts for each one per cent, of nitrous ether, 1000 vol- 
umes of the product of the U. S. P. would, if the sp. gr. is correctly 
stated, weigh 20 parts heavier than the alcohol used for its preparation, 
or 4*0 parts for each one per cent, of nitrous ether it is claimed to 

It remained then to determine whether any condensation results on 
the admixture of the distillate in the alcohol. For this purpose the 
distillate obtained by the second experimental distillation was used. 
This, which at 6o° F. measured 15 fluidounces, and weighed 5974*5 
grains, was mixed with 17 fluidounces of stronger alcohol, sp. gr. 0*817, 
weighing 6328*5 grains. One fluidounce of this mixture, at 6o° F., 
should weigh, if no condensation occurs, 384 5 grains, and by dividing 
this weight by the weight of a fluidounce of water (455*669 grains) 
we at once obtain the specific gravity : 

455*669 : 384*5 :: 1 : o 843, the calculated specific gravity of the concentrated spirit. 

In order to reduce the " concentrated spirit " to the volume required 
by the " Pharmacopoeia," 72 fluidounces of stronger alcohol are 
required, or 2*34375 fluidounces to 1 fluidounce of " concentrated 
spirit." The weight of a fluidounce of a mixture so made should, at 

364 Spirit of Nitrous Ether. { Arr ju^ r I ^ > 7 h 7 arm ' 

6o° F., be 376 grains. By dividing this weight by that of a fluidounce 
of water we again obtain the correct specific gravity, if no condensation 
has occurred : 

455 659 : 376 : : 1 : 0*825, the calculated specific gravity of the spirit of nitrous ether. 

Upon now taking the specific gravities of these two spirits, by the 
aid of an accurate 1000-grain bottle, they were found to tally exactly 
with the calculated specific gravities : 

The concentrated spirit, at 6o° F., weighed 843 grains. 

The spirit of nitrous ether, at 6o° F., weighed 825 grains, 

indicating specific gravities respectively of 0*843 anc * °'8 2 5} and prov- 
ing that no condensation occurs when alcohol and nitrous ether (in concen- 
trated solution) are mixed. 

The second question may therefore be answered as follows : 

1. The specific gravity of spirit of nitrous ether, U. S. P., is not correctly 

2. Its specific gravity, if it contains 5 per cent, of pure nitrous ether, 
should be 0*8235. 

3. In the experiments made the spe:ific gravity varied between 0*822 and 


The discovery of the error in the pharmacopceial statement of the 
specific gravity prompted me to inquire into the correctness of the 
statement of the strength of the spirit of nitrous ether. The " Phar- 
macopoeia " states very positively that it "contains five per cent, of 
its peculiar ether." In the Table H it has already been foreshadowed 
that this cannot be true, if by " its peculiar ether " it is meant to 
designate "absolute nitrous ether," and this is plainly demonstrated by 
the following calculation : 

4| troyounces (= 2160 grains) of nitric acid, sp. gr. 1 -42, contains 1620 grains 
(— 75 per cent.) HON0 5 . 

63 grainsof HONO s are capableof forming 75 grainsof C 4 H 5 ONO s , 
and, consequently, 1620 grains of HONO s can form 1928*5 grains of 
C 4 H 6 ONO a . 

The specific gravity of absolute nitrous ether is stated to be 0*947 ; 
consequently a fluidounce of nitrous ether, at 6o°F., will weigh 

Am A u , r '^7 arm *} S P irit of Nitrous Ether. 365 

431*518 grains (water weighing 455*669 grains), and 1928*5 grains of 
nitrous ether will, therefore, measure 4*469 fluidounces, which, being 
contained in 107 flouidounces of finished spirit of nitrous ether, gi